La. has new goal for all students to graduate high school with college credit or vocational training

La. has new goal for all students to graduate high school with college credit or vocational training
Louisiana has set a goal for all high school students to graduate with college credit or vocational credentials by 2025. (Source: Storyblocks)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana’s K-12 and postsecondary education boards met Wednesday, Dec. 11 and set a goal for all high school freshmen, starting with the class of 2025, to graduate with some type of college credit or vocational credential, or both.

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) says in the class of 2018, 54% of grads earned college credit for at least one course or a high-value industry credential.

An amendment to the state’s dual enrollment eligibility requirements was also adopted, replacing End-of-Course tests with LEAP 2025 assessments in order to encourage increased participation by students who have no taken the ACT.

“Setting a shared goal between our boards sends a strong signal regarding our expectations for every Louisiana high school student, that you will need credentials beyond high school and that an early start is a smart start for our students, ” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “Today’s meeting demonstrates the important collaboration occurring across the educational ecosystem in response to the Board of Regents Master Plan call to increase talent development in our state. We are thankful for BESE’s partnership and support.”

“Today’s joint announcement addresses critical attempts to expand life opportunities for high school graduates,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “If our state is to achieve greater levels of upward mobility for its people, especially those disadvantaged by circumstance and history, we will need to be relentless in finding new ways of going about our business. I appreciate greatly Dr. Hunter Reed and the entire Board of Regents for their willingness to join us in this call for change.”

In anticipation of around 45,000 students graduating with college credit or a credential, the Board of Regents asked to staff to research and recommend updates to the dual enrollment eligibility requirements. Dual enrollment allows students to get a jump start on their college career, potentially saving them and their families money in the future.

CURRENT DUAL ENROLLMENT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  • Minimum of 2.5 high school GPA
  • 19 ACT composite score
  • sub-scores of 19 in Math and 18 in English

For many years, students who had not taken the ACT could still participate in dual enrollment by using End-of-Course exams instead. Those assessments were phased out by LDOE and replaced with LEAP 2025, requiring the board to amend its policy. The recommendation adopted Wednesday is temporary and will be reassessed by the board as more research is done and feedback received.

In the meantime, the amendment allows students who haven’t yet taken the ACT to use a proficiency level of Mastery or above on the LEAP 2025 assessment in English II for dual enrollment eligibility in English.

In Math, College Algebra eligibility will be granted from a score of Mastery or above on the LEAP 2025 Geometry test and completion of high school Algebra II with a grade of C or better. For non-algebraic Math, a proficiency level of Mastery of higher on the LEAP 2025 Geometry assessment will be acceptable.

“This is a great first step towards updating the eligibility requirements for dual enrollment, allowing students multiple pathways to access college credit in high school,” said Board of Regents Chairman Marty Chabert. “Anything we can do to make sure students are getting what they need to succeed is exciting.”

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