New program helps high school students take college courses


A new dual enrollment program was announced Tuesday (6/12) that will allow high school students to take UW college courses. The effort is seen as a way to close the education gap between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

State School Superintendent Tony Evers and UW Colleges Chancellor Ray Cross signed the memorandum that will bring college courses into high schools all across the state. Cross said the intention is to provide the instruction at little or no cost to students: “This is really important to the state. First of all, it allows high school students to stay in their high schools, and enroll in University of Wisconsin courses while physically in their high schools.”

Courses will be taught by high school teachers under the guidance of the state’s 13 two year colleges. Superintendent Evers said it will give students a head start on a college degree, “It’s a great way for students to get an introduction to college course work. It’s also a tremendous benefit to Wisconsin families as dual enrollment reduces both the time and also the cost of earning a college degree. It’s a double win.”

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UW regent Mark Bradley attended the signing ceremony. He said the initiative came from teachers, not from politicians, “It wasn’t mandated by the legislature. Everybody checked their egos at the door. This doesn’t expand anybody’s budget. It doesn’t expand anybody’s program. The only reason was to benefit intelligent, motivated high school students in the state of Wisconsin.”

Presently, only 1300 Wisconsin high school students are taking college courses, compared to more than 22,000 in Minnesota. Chancellor Cross said he hopes dual enrollment narrows the graduation and the income gap between the two states.