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High School-Level STEM Initiatives: State-Level Dual Enrollment/Early College/Middle College Programs Focused on STEM Disciplines

Why does it matter?
Providing motivated students with the opportunity to take mathematics or science classes that earn them postsecondary credit can:
  • Keep these students engaged.
  • Provide them with a window into the demands of postsecondary education.
  • Save them - and their parents - money and time by providing them with the opportunity to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school.

  • Highlights
    Six states specifically target some form of dual enrollment policies at one or more of the STEM subjects.

    Listed policies include those that are stand-alone programs that focus on providing postsecondary credit in STEM subjects. Policies do not include those found in a state's vocational/career-technical education code.

    Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last updated: June 2008

    This database was compiled by Kyle Zinth, policy analyst, ECS Information Clearinghouse. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3673 or kzinth@ecs.org.

    State-level dual enrollment/early college/middle college programs focused on STEM disciplines
    California Yes, the state department of education partners with the state community colleges to support the Early College High School Initiative of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Currently two early college high schools focus on technology.
    Florida Yes, career academies enable students to simultaneously earn industry certification and a standard high school diploma. All career academies must provide a rigorous standards-based academic curriculum integrated with a career curriculum and include one or more partnerships with postsecondary institutions, businesses, industry, employers, economic development organizations or other appropriate partners from the local community.

    These partnerships must provide opportunities for:
  • Instruction from highly skilled professionals who possess industry-certification credentials for courses they are teaching.
  • Internships, externships and on-the-job training.
  • A postsecondary degree, diploma or certificate.
  • The highest available level of industry certification.
  • Maximum articulation of credits upon program completion.
  • Provide shared, maximum use of private sector facilities and personnel.

  • Career academies can be established in a number of career clusters, including:
  • Information Technology
  • STEM
  • Kansas Yes, 2006 legislation called for the creation of the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS), a two-year residential academy for 11th and 12th graders who are talented in mathematics and science. KAMS students will enroll in college courses taught by the faculty of a postsecondary educational institution. Students will earn a high school diploma and college credits that meet the requirements for an associate of arts or associate of science degree. KAMS will be hosted at Fort Hays State University, and will begin recruiting students in fall 2008.
    Michigan Yes, 2006 legislation created a grant program to create middle colleges focused on health sciences. The legislation allocated a maximum of $2,000,000.00 for 2007-08 for grants to intermediate districts or a district of the first class that are in consortium with a community college or state public university and a hospital to create and implement a middle college focused on the field of health sciences.

    Eligible consortia funded under this program must ensure the middle college provides:
  • Outreach programs to provide information to middle school and high school students about career opportunities in the health sciences field.
  • An individualized education plan for each pupil enrolled in the program.
  • Curriculum that includes entry-level college courses.
  • Clinical rotations that provide opportunities for pupils to observe careers in the health sciences.
  • New Hampshire Yes, state has adopted Project Lead the Way (PLTW) as its high school pre-engineering curriculum. The New Hampshire Technical Institute has established articulation agreements with each of the participating schools. In addition, students of PLTW schools who meet accreditation standards established by the Rochester Institute of Technology are eligible for credit in engineering technology majors. PLTW students can earn up to 12 credits at the New Hampshire Technical Institute through the Community/Technical College Systems’ Project Running Start.
    Ohio Yes, multiple provisions in 2007 H.B. 119

    STEM-Focused Summer Academies
    Designates funding for up to 10 regional summer academies that focus on STEM and prepare 11th and 12th graders enrolled in public or chartered nonpublic schools to pursue college-level credit, with a focus on secondary teaching in these disciplines. (Also pertains to the creation of academies focused on foreign languages.) Successful completion of these academies will result in dual high school and college credits.

    Project Lead The Way (PLTW)
    PLTW is a four-year, flexible sequence of pre-engineering courses that students take in combination with college preparatory mathematics and science courses in high school. Students are exposed to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college. In general, students in certified schools who earn an "B" average or higher in their PLTW courses and score 70% or higher on the PLTW college credit exam are eligible to apply for college credit or recognition, depending on the requirements of the affiliates. H.B. 119 appropriated $1 million for the program for both fiscal years 2008 and 2009. These funds will be used for leadership management oversight and initial and continuing support of Project Lead the Way workforce development programs in participating school districts.

    Internet and distance learning classes
    If the partnership for continued learning, after consulting with the Ohio board of regents and the state board of education, does not complete and submit recommendations for legislative changes for the operation of the post-secondary enrollment options program, each state university is required to offer interactive distance learning at least one mathematics and one science course that would enable high school students to earn both high school and college credit.


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