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March 10, 2004

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne Announce Increase in Dual Enrollment Participation Led by Minority Students
Study shows dual enrollment students more likely to enroll in postsecondary education

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced that high school students participating in dual enrollment programs are more likely to enroll in a post secondary institution than high school graduates who do not enroll in advanced curriculum. Participation in dual enrollment has risen across all ethnic groups, with the most significant increases among African Americans and Hispanics.

"Today's numbers show that all Florida students have more opportunity. With the highest increase in dual enrollment participation among minority students, Florida continues to close the achievement gap," said Governor Bush. "It is great to see more students challenging themselves academically by taking accelerated coursework, which will provide them with the skills they need to go on to higher education."

Participation in dual enrollment has risen steadily from 27,689 students in 1998-99 to 34,732 in 2002-03 (an increase of 25 percent). The most significant increase has been among minority students with African American enrollment rising more than 49 percent (from 2,150 students in 1998-99 to 3,210 in 2002-03) and Hispanic enrollment jumping by 67 percent (from 1,969 in 1998-99 to 3,289 in 2002-03).

"Florida's students continue to make the most of opportunities, such as dual enrollment and Advanced Placement," said Commissioner Horne. "Through their hard work, the dedication of educators, and the support of families and communities, our students will meet and exceed our high expectations."

According to a study of 2000-2001 high school graduates conducted by Florida's Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Education, students who took at least one dual enrollment course enrolled in higher education at a rate of nearly 64 percent, compared to an enrollment rate of 55.4 percent for all high school graduates. Nearly 70 percent of African Americans that took dual enrollment courses continued onto college, while 45 percent of the overall African American graduates enrolled in a post secondary institution. Also, more than 68 percent of Hispanic students in dual enrollment programs entered a college or university compared to more than 54 percent of all Hispanic high school graduated who attended college. The study, background materials, and a breakdown of dual enrollment by district are attached.

"Participating in dual enrollment programs at our Community Colleges gives students the opportunity to succeed in a college environment early in their academic careers, which can drive them to pursue higher education," said Community Colleges Chancellor David Armstrong.