Elevate: Dual Enrollment Scholarships
Currently, students are only able to participate in dual enrollment opportunities through workforce training grants or private family contribution. TCS knows the value of beginning college while in high school and through ELEVATE, this can be a reality for all students. In 2020-2021, ELEVATE funds will be used to provide every student with up to six credit hours of college-level work while in high school. For the 2021-2022 cycle and beyond, eligible students may earn up to nine credit hours of college-level work while in high school.
Current research suggests that Dual-enrollment programs have been linked to higher high school graduation rates and increase the likelihood that students will enroll in an institution of higher education.
In addition, students who completed dual-enrollment programs in high school tended to have higher cumulative GPAs during their first three years in college. These benefits held true both for the high-achieving students and students from other subsets. Advantages were also seen in the population of male and low-income students, two subsets that often struggle academically in high school and beyond. The study urged states to continue expanding dual-enrollment opportunities to students across the board, particularly those that do not typically see themselves as college-bound.
These benefits include:
- Less time required after high school to finish a college degree
- Provides students with a head start on the college experience
- Dual-enrollment classes often save students money on tuition
- Students may enjoy access to college library and resources
- Grades earned become part of the student’s permanent transcript
- Students may be able to transfer credits earned to a four-year school
- Classes may offer a lower ratio of students to instructors
- Students may explore fields of study that help them choose a major later
- Students may choose from classes not currently available at their high school
Dual-enrollment gives students a taste of college coursework while they are still enjoying the safe confines of the high school environment. At the same time, students earn credits that will apply toward a two-year degree at the school, or even toward a four-year degree, if the credits transfer fully to the four-year school of choice.
In 2018-2019, 105 high school seniors participated in dual enrollment opportunities with the three post-secondary institutions. With the implementation of ELEVATE in 2020-2021, nearly 500 seniors are projected to be eligible to participate and earn college credit. 232 students are enrolled in post-secondary coursework for the Fall 2020 semester.
To qualify, students must (2021-2022 cohort and beyond):
- Attend a TCS high school at least one year prior to taking courses as part of the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship program;
- Live in the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ residential attendance zones (or be dependant of a TCS employee); and
- Meet institutions’ minimum grade point average requirements.
"This initiative is bringing about an unprecedented partnership between Stillman, the University and Shelton State. This is a win for everyone. This is a win for our students. This is a win for the community."
Mike Daria, Ed.D