CVHEC Hosts Dual Enrollment Convening for Educators in Nine County Region
More than 150 secondary and postsecondary educators gathered March 5 when they convened for the Central Valley Dual Enrollment for Equity and Prosperity (CVDEEP) Convening at the DoubleTree Inn in downtown Fresno to address challenges and barriers to dual enrollment success.
Presented by the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, the convening was the latest of several gatherings held since a CVHEC task force — made up of community college and K-12 educational leaders — was created in July 2019 at the request of community college administrators so Central Valley colleges and K-12 partner districts could purposefully and strategically engage on a regional basis to deliver dual enrollment in a more equitable way.
Through dual enrollment, high school students earn college credits while earning their high school diploma. In the nine-county region served by the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, an intersegmental higher education organization of 27 accredited public and independent community college and university partners from San Joaquin to Kern counties, over 15,000 Central Valley high school students participated in a dual enrollment program in 2019.
“CVHEC believes the dual enrollment opportunity significantly increases high school students’ chances of earning credentials, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees as expeditiously as possible, providing a timely gateway to meaningful careers with sufficient earnings to support a quality of life for themselves and their families,” said Dr. Benjamin Durán, CVHEC executive director.
Last year, CVHEC convened a task force of about 60 front line educators who deliver dual enrollment services valley-wide to join forces beginning with an inaugural meeting July 22 where they established a regional consensus that provided the direction for the March 5 conference.
At that March convening, the attendees representing 52 school districts, 12 community colleges and two educations organizations/agencies spent the day in two panels and three breakout sessions discussing their experiences and ways to navigate forward.
The two opening sessions covered “Dual Enrollment, A Partnership Perspective – What We Wish We knew When We Started” and “Successes and Challenges with Dual Enrollment – A student Perspective.”
The latter panel featured six dual enrollment students from Central Valley high schools: Brianna Hernandez of Selma; Emely Rivera of Roosevelt; Bernice Lozada and Nandini Karyampudi of Mountain House; and Nerin Delgado and Raul Espinoza of McFarland who indicated one of the positive experiences for them was being introduced to a syllabus and its importance to academic success.
“I’m so grateful I got that experience (with a syllabus) before I start college, that was super positive,” said Nerin, a senior who started dual enrollment in her freshman year. “I can go into a college class and now I can understand how responsible you actually have to be to keep up with your schoolwork, and your readings that you have to do before the actual lecture. It definitely keeps you accountable, it keeps you responsible.”
The breakout sessions covered the topics “Faculty Focus,” “Essential Elements of Student Services” and “Dual Enrollment Pathways: Partnerships for Pathway Development.”
Discussion entailed numerous issues ranging from “face-to-face golden moments” with students to faculty recruitment and support to the challenges of scheduling courses with high schools.
In the panel subtitled “What We Wish We Knew When We Started,” Dale Van Dam, Vice President of Instruction at Reedley College, noted that when dual enrollment began at his campus five years ago, the rush to get started did not allow for basic “foundation-building” with high school partners, or dialogues about how best to bridge the two bureaucracies to structure programs for the benefit of students and think through best practices.
Noting that the program has grown to 19 high school partners with 5,500-plus students and over 200 sections, Van Dam said, “We’ve realized you have to be very intentional about communication. It has to be at regular intervals, it can’t be by-the-by, it can’t be when you’re in a crisis. There needs to be regular cards-on-the-table type meetings about what’s going right and what’s going wrong.”
Panel moderator John Spevak, a CVHEC Regional Coordinator, commended the educators for their efforts in developing dual enrollment programs, telling his audience, “I’m just impressed with the amount of work that we have to do to make this successful. It just doesn’t happen by itself. This is one of the most intensive activities I have ever seen take place between high schools and colleges.”
CVHEC media contact: Tom Uribes • firstname.lastname@example.org • 559.348.3278
In 2016, a new dual enrollment option was introduced through Assembly Bill (AB) 288, amending Education Code (EC) 76004, and creating the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP). This legislation enabled more high school students to take college courses taught by college professors on their high school campuses. California AB 30, signed by Governor Newsom in October 2019, expands and protects dual enrollment through 2027.