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News Release - Thirty-Two School Districts Will Participate In ASCENT Program and Offer Concurrent Enrollment

June 10, 2011

News Release

Thirty-Two School Districts Will Participate In ASCENT Program and Offer Concurrent Enrollment

The Colorado General Assembly approved more than $4.3 million for the 32 school districts that have elected to participate in the Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT) program during the 2011-12 school year. ASCENT is a fifth-year program in which students who are eligible to graduate instead remain enrolled in their high school to take postsecondary coursework. The state appropriation will allow the ASCENT program to serve 753 students at a rate of $5,888per student.

Below are the 32 districts that will participate in the ASCENT program in the 2011-12 academic school year:

  1. Adams County School District 14
  2. Aurora Public Schools
  3. Branson School District RE-82
  4. Buena Vista School District R-31
  5. Center School District 26JT
  6. Charter School Institute - GOAL Academy
  7. Cherry Creek School District
  8. Colorado Springs School District 11
  9. Del Norte School District C-7
  10. Delta County School District 50-J
  11. Denver Public Schools
  12. Durango School District 9R
  13. Edison School District 54 JT
  14. Elizabeth School District C-1
  15. Englewood School District
  16. Harrison School District 2
  17. Jefferson County Public Schools
  18. Lamar School District RE-2
  19. Limon School District RE-4J
  20. Littleton Public Schools
  21. Mapleton Public Schools
  22. Mc Clave School District RE-2
  23. Mesa County Valley School District 51
  24. Montezuma-Cortez School District
  25. Norwood School District R-2J
  26. Poudre School District
  27. Prowers School District Re-1
  28. Summit School District
  29. Vilas School District RE-5
  30. Greeley School District 6
  31. Widefield School District 3
  32. Wiley School District RE-13 JT

The ASCENT program was signed into law during the 2009 Legislative Session and allows districts to provide concurrent enrollment opportunities to high school students during a fifth year. The intent of the ASCENT program is to increase the percentage of students who participate in postsecondary education, especially among low-income and traditionally underserved populations, and decrease the number of students who do not complete high school. School district participation is voluntary. The authorizing legislation requires that the state board of education report on the number of eligible ASCENT students each year.

Additionally, the program intends to decrease the amount of time that is required for a student to complete a postsecondary degree, as well as reduce state expenditures for public education to provide postsecondary course work for high school students. The final objective of the program is to increase the number of educational pathways available to students.

To participate in the ASCENT program in the future, districts must complete the following:

  • By Sept. 1, submit to the Colorado Department of Education a list of current 12th-graders who will be eligible for the ASCENT program during the upcoming school year, students who will be seniors in the 2011-2012 school year who plan to remain enrolled at the high school for the purpose of participating in a fifth-year program (in the 2012-13 school year).
  • Enter into a cooperative agreement with a qualified institution of higher education.
  • Ensure that all college credit hours earned concurrently apply toward the students’ high school graduation requirements as defined in the students’ academic plan.

To participate in the ASCENT program, students must meet the following qualifications:

  • Have completed or be on schedule to complete at least 12 credit hours (semester hours or equivalent) of postsecondary course work prior to the completion of their 12th-grade year.
  • Not require basic skills coursework as defined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s remedial education policy.
  • Have been selected for participation in the ASCENT program by their high school principal or equivalent school administrator.
  • Meet the minimum prerequisites for any course prior to enrollment in the course.
  • Has not previously participated in the ASCENT Program.

For more information about ASCENT, please contact Charles Dukes in CDE’s Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement Office, 303-866-6142.

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