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Concurrent Enrollment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Concurrent Enrollment

Q1: How will institutions of higher education support students who are taking concurrent enrollment for credit needed for graduation this spring?

A: Local Education Providers (LEPs) should work with their higher education partners to determine how the institution plans to offer courses remotely. Colorado institutions of higher education have moved coursework online for the remainder of the spring semester 2020 (as of March 2020).

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Q2: Some institutions of higher education are allowing students to choose to receive a pass/fail (P/F) or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grade or the grade they achieve for concurrent enrollment courses. How might this affect HS students?

A: There are a number of considerations for this unique situation.

  • Weighted grades: A local education provider (LEP) has the authority to set policy in which grades for Concurrent Enrollment courses are weighted. If an LEP gives weighted grades for Concurrent Enrollment courses, a grade of pass/fail may not be weighted in the same way as a letter grade. It is also possible that grades of pass/fail are not included in the LEP’s board policy or student handbook. Students/families should consult with school personnel regarding this policy.
  • NCAA Eligibility: Current guidance on NCAA Eligibility is still in place. As long as grading standards are the same across institutions/schools, pass/fail (P/F) should not impact NCAA Eligibility. If your school uses traditional letter grades, there is no need to notify the NCAA Eligibility Center of your grading scheme. If your school uses numeric grade values, the NCAA Eligibility Center converts those numeric values into quality points based on the four-point scale. In Pass/Fail (P/F) grading situations, the NCAA Eligibility Center assigns your school’s lowest passing grade for a course in which the student received a Pass grade. For most schools, the lowest passing grade is a D.
    • For more information on NCAA eligibility, including forthcoming guidance on Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades and academic progress, please see the NCAA Eligibility website and continuing updates/FAQ here.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and failing grades: For students who enter college after high school and took Concurrent Enrollment while in high school, a student’s SAP is an important consideration for being eligible to receive financial aid. SAP is determined by the grades that a student earns in postsecondary courses (including concurrent enrollment). A passing/satisfactory grade (P or S in a pass/fail situation) in a college course can represent a C- or D- and higher depending on the institution. However, due to the pandemic, for the spring 2020 term most Colorado institutions agreed that P or S will only represent grades of C- or higher so that the courses will be allowed in transfer agreements. Receiving an F will negatively impact SAP, whereas, at some institutions, a grade of D will not. In the case of a student earning a D in a Concurrent Enrollment course, the student might be better served opting to keep the D grade the student receives rather than a pass/fail grade. Students should check with the institution they plan to attend for their SAP policy.
  • Transfer credit: In typical situations, Pass (P)/Satisfactory (S) grades may not transfer, as different institutions have the authority to determine whether P/S grades are eligible for transfer. However, given the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, all P/S grades will transfer like a regular letter grade for the course in which the student is enrolled for spring 2020. Fail (F) and Unsatisfactory (U) grades will not transfer. Please note that some institutions of higher education have employed a Pass/ Pass + grading scale for this unique situation. In these cases, Pass+ is an equivalent to a C- or higher, whereas Pass can be a D+ to D-. In these cases, Pass+ is considered for transfer. Please check with your institution for specific P/F policies.

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Q3: Can a local Education Provider (LEP) give a grade and credit for a Concurrent Enrollment course for which the student received a grade of Incomplete (I) and no credit from the institution of higher education (IHE)?

A: Yes. This is a local decision that an LEP can choose to make. However, because the student received an incomplete from the IHE, the student will not receive college credit for the course until the remaining coursework is completed. And, if the coursework is not completed, the grade may revert to an F or No Credit. The student should work with their Concurrent Enrollment instructor to determine what coursework they will need to complete to earn college credit.

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Q4: What Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes will continue for high school and concurrent enrollment? And how will credit be awarded?

A: See coloradostateplan.com to consult with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) who oversees CTE in Colorado at both the high school and postsecondary levels.

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Q5: Are there any exceptions to remote learning that allow for in-person instruction?

A: State guidance, as of April 2nd, stated the following as an exemption to social/physical distancing guidelines for higher education:

Postsecondary institutions, including private and public colleges and universities, for the purpose of facilitating distance learning, providing in person classroom or laboratory education for less than 10 students per classroom or lab in medical training fields only, or performing essential functions, provided that Social Distancing Requirements are observed, such as security, medical and mental health services, housing, food services, and critical research.

As such, for courses which have lab and other in-person requirements, if there are less than 10 students in the experience it can be considered a critical business, while maintaining appropriate social/physical distancing and hygiene. However, for most of these situations 10 or more students are likely in the class. As such, students, families and school staff should connect with Concurrent Enrollment instructors for additional information on how this part of the course will be handled.

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Higher Education Admissions

Q6: Will colleges and universities still admit students who have not met their specific entrance requirements?

A: Institutions of higher education have stated that they intend to be as flexible as possible with incoming students, while maintaining their admissions standards. Additionally, many institutions made admissions decisions prior to the onset of the pandemic, which continue to be in effect. Students and families should contact the individual institution’s office of admissions for more information.

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Q7: How will colleges and universities support students who were unable to take a college entrance exam (e.g. SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER) this spring?

A: Institutions of higher education (IHE) are providing as much flexibility as possible for incoming students. For students entering higher education in fall 2020, who do not have available college entrance exam scores, IHEs are evaluating applicants on other factors, such as rigor and mix of coursework, high school GPA, passed Concurrent Enrollment courses completed, work experience, etc. The Colorado Department of Higher Education is working with the Governor’s office to provide additional flexibility as needed. It is still being determined how first-time freshmen entering higher education in fall 2021 will be handled, but flexibility will continue to be a priority.

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Q8: Will the SAT tests that were canceled for spring 2020 be rescheduled?

A: With the governor's suspension of in-person learning through the end of April 2020, PSAT/SAT testing will not occur this spring. We continue to work with College Board on options for the fall and believe there may be an opportunity for school day testing for interested districts, schools and students. We will share more information as it becomes available.

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Q9: How will colleges and universities consider the student’s high school class rank in admissions?

A: Institutions of higher education may utilize class rank as one of the many factors in making admissions decisions or awarding scholarships.

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Q10: Will major college deadlines (e.g. admission, notification, deposits, etc.) be extended?

A: In most cases, yes. Please contact individual colleges and universities for information.

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Q11: With the cancellation of IB exams in 2020, will students receive college credit for completed IB courses?

A: Colorado Commission on Higher Education policy (PDF) requires the awarding of transferable credit (GT Pathways) for an IB exam score of 4 or above. Additionally, state law (§23-1-113.2(2), C.R.S.) requires an award of at least 24 college credit hours for successful completion of an IB diploma (with individual content exam scores of 4 and above).

Although IB exams are cancelled this spring, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has developed a rigorous assessment protocol that includes interim assessments, predicted grading, third party evaluation and historical scoring criteria. The Department of Higher Education has consulted with colleges and universities and is satisfied that the assessment protocol to be used by IBO is consistent with the spirit of both state law and commission policy. The Department affirms the awarding of college credit for IB recommended scores of 4 and above in a manner identical to the practice of awarding college credit for a score of 4 or higher on an IB exam, with the same guarantees for transfer. For evaluation criteria, please see this IBO guidance (PDF).

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Q12: Will pass/fail (P/F) and satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grades count towards the 12 required college credits to qualify for the ASCENT program?

A: Yes, if the student receives a P or S it will count as college credit earned.

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