According to the Iowa Department of Education, more Iowa high school students are earning community college credit than ever before.  A report released by the department shows that a record 38,000 students took part in joint enrollment in 2010, a 14 percent increase from 2009.

The Iowa Department of Education released this statement:

“Iowa provides high school students with an excellent opportunity to take courses through our highly-regarded community college system, and this report shows that more and more students are making use of this opportunity,” said Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education.

Iowa allows for students to be jointly enrolled in high school as well as community college credit coursework. Most jointly enrolled students do so through Senior Year Plus programs such as Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) and concurrent enrollment. Some students enroll independently by paying tuition or enrolling in courses delivered through contractual agreements that do not meet the definition of concurrent enrollment.

“Iowa’s school districts and community colleges are helping tens of thousands of students across the state take the courses they need to succeed in school, in careers and in life,” added Dr. Roger Utman, Administrator of the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation at the Iowa Department of Education.

Some of the highlights of this report include:

• Enrollment grew to a record high of 38,283 in 2010;

• Year-to-year growth was 14.2 percent, which was above the typical rate of growth. Average annual growth over the last five years was 8.4 percent;

• Jointly enrolled students accounted for 25.7 percent of total community college enrollment;

• Joint enrollment accounts for 13.6 percent of total credit hours;

• Most students (78 percent) enrolled through courses delivered through a contractual agreement between a community college and school district;

• Fifteen percent of students enrolled through Postsecondary PSEO courses;

• Fifty-nine percent of joint enrollees were seniors in high school, and 32 percent were juniors;

• Approximately 51 percent of joint enrollees were female, a lower proportion than the total student body;

• Approximately 10 percent of joint enrollees had a minority racial or ethnic background, a lower proportion than the total student body;

• Of courses taken by jointly enrolled students, the most common subject areas are English language and literature, social sciences and history, and mathematics, followed by foreign language and literature and various career and technical disciplines.