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Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Strategies

This page describes the pertinent statutes that concern Early College High Schools (ECHS), Middle College High Schools (MCHS) and College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnerships.

California Education Code(EC), Section 48800 provides that the governing board of a school district may determine which students may benefit from advanced scholastic or vocational work. The governing board may authorize those students, upon recommendation from their principal and with parental consent, to attend a community college as a special part-time student and to enroll in one or more courses offered at the community college level. The purpose of the code is to provide educational enrichment for a limited number of eligible pupils. The educational enrichment opportunity will typically result in a request for concurrent enrollment in courses not currently offered by the approving school.

Early and Middle College High Schools

Students enrolled in Early College High Schools (ECHS) and Middle College High Schools (MCHS) can earn college credit through dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment strategies. ECHS are innovative partnerships between public or charter secondary schools and local community colleges that allow high school students to earn both their high school diplomas and Associates Degree with typically minor cost to the student. MCHS are secondary schools located on a college campus offering challenging academic programs and designed to serve high-potential, high-risk students. MCHS offer effective support services, small class size and the opportunity for students to concurrently take some college classes at typically minor cost to the student. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office External link opens in new window or tab. web page provides pertinent reference information regarding dual enrollment.

Under EC Section 46208, ECHS and MCHS operated by school districts must offer at least 180 days of instruction per year. All students in grades 9-12 must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes each year. In addition, students must be scheduled for at least the minimum school day in order for a day to count as a day of instruction. EC Section 46146.5 exempts an ECHS and a MCHS operated by school districts from the 240-minute minimum school day requirement for students who are concurrently enrolled. The legislation provides that a minimum school day for an ECHS or MCHS student is 180 minutes if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specified provisions, or the student is in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at the California State University or the University of California campuses.

Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11960, charter ECHS and charter MCHS must offer students at least 175 instructional days. Similar to school districts, all 9-12 grade students in charter ECHS and charter MCHS must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes per year and at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be at the school site to generate classroom based attendance. For charter ECHS and charter MCHS, the minimum instructional time scheduling requirement for generating classroom based attendance is reduced (by EC Section 46146.5) from 80 percent to 50 percent if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specific provisions, or the student is in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at the California State University or the University of California campuses. For students who are enrolled at a charter ECHS or charter MCHS and not enrolled in courses of a California State University, a University of California, or as special part time students at a community college under specified provisions, EC Section 46146.5 reduces the minimum 80 percent instructional time scheduling requirement to 67 percent in order to generate classroom based attendance.

College and Career Access Pathways Partnerships

EC Section 76004 expands dual enrollment opportunities by reducing fiscal penalties and policy barriers that might discourage dual enrollment opportunities. The statute provides that the governing board of a community college district may enter into a College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnership with the governing board of a school district or charter school for the purpose of offering or expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students who may not already be college bound or who are underrepresented in higher education, with the goal of developing seamless pathways from high school to community college for career technical education or preparation for transfer, improving high school graduation rates, or helping high school pupils achieve college and career readiness.

School districts with a CCAP partnership agreement must offer at least 180 days of instruction per year. All students in grades 9-12 must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes each year. In addition, students must be scheduled for at least the minimum school day in order for a day to count as a day of instruction. School districts with a CCAP partnership agreement are exempted from the 240-minute minimum school day requirement for students who are concurrently enrolled. A minimum school day for a student enrolled at a school district with a CCAP partnership agreement is 180 minutes if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specified provisions and who will receive academic credit upon satisfactory completion of enrolled courses. Students who are scheduled for 180 minutes generate a maximum three-quarters of an ADA.

Charter schools with a CCAP partnership agreement must offer students at least 175 instructional days. Similar to school districts, all 9-12 grade students in charter schools with a CCAP partnership agreement must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes per year and at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be at the school site to generate classroom based attendance. In addition, students must be scheduled for at least 80 percent of the required annual instructional minutes at the school site in order to generate classroom based attendance. For charter schools with a CCAP partnership agreement, EC Section 76004 reduces the minimum 80 percent instructional time scheduling requirement in order to generate classroom based attendance to 50 percent if the student is enrolled as special part time student at a community college and will receive academic credit upon satisfactory completion of enrolled courses.

If you have additional questions regarding this topic, please contact Carolyn Hamilton, Education Programs Consultant, Career and College Transition Division, by phone at 916-323-5765 or by e-mail at chamilton@cde.ca.gov.

Questions: Carolyn Hamilton | CHamilton@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5765 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 24, 2019