ATLANTA – The Joint Study Committee on Dual Enrollment for Highly Skilled Talent at Younger Ages, co-chaired by State Representative Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville) and State Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan), recently adopted the study committee’s official recommendations during a final meeting at the State Capitol.
Created by Senate Resolution 175, this study committee was tasked with examining Georgia’s existing dual enrollment opportunities to develop highly skilled talent at younger ages and identify potential solutions to yield more dual enrollment participants.
“I am extremely proud of the important work this study committee accomplished over the past several months,” said Chairman Dubnik. “Through hours of public testimony and in-depth discussions, this committee was able to identify the ways in which Georgia’s dual enrollment program prospers, as well as areas of the program that could benefit from improvement. As chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and a member of the House Committee on Education, I am a long-time advocate for the education sector in Georgia and was honored to serve as co-chair of this distinguished study committee. I want to thank my co-chairman State Senator Matt Brass and my fellow study committee members for their dedicated efforts to enhance Georgia’s dual enrollment program and look forward to seeing these recommendations be put into action in the near future.”
Based on the testimony and research presented throughout the study committee process, the committee identified several areas in need of improvement within Georgia’s dual enrollment program; the committee grouped these recommendations into three categories: simplify, educate and invest.
Research presented during the study committee process indicates a number of complex aspects surrounding Georgia’s dual enrollment program. Specifically, the joint study committee notes that there is no clear definition for a “high demand career,” and information surrounding dual enrollment, Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses and accelerated career pathways is not readily accessible to students or parents. Therefore, the joint study committee recommends simplifying these aspects to allow for a more streamlined program that is constructively accessible and provides a clear definition of a “high demand career” and related coursework. Furthermore, the study committee recommends removing a sunset provision in Senate Bill 86 to remove artificial limits on the program; SB 86 was signed into law earlier this year and creates a three-year pilot program to allow eligible dual enrollment students to access HOPE Grant funds for high demand career initiative fields for eligible CTAE courses.
The joint study committee also seeks to educate stakeholders and enhance information sharing to allow for optimal exposure to Georgia’s dual enrollment opportunities and career pathways at a younger age. The joint study committee found that while many high school counselors are frequently involved in the dual enrollment process, middle school counselors are not exposed to the program at the same rate, which leads to difficulties in data sharing and collecting. The joint study committee recommends improving the ability to gather data on “high demand careers,” as well as educating local school systems, specifically middle schools and their counselors, on the importance of dual enrollment and accelerated career pathways to expose younger students to these opportunities. These lawmakers also seek to ensure that there is a system in place to collect and share data amongst stakeholder groups.
Finally, the joint study committee recommends expanding investments in Georgia’s dual enrollment program. While the program has proven to be successful since its creation, study committee members agree that in order to continue its success, proper investments should be made to preserve the system. Specifically, the members recommend more funding for Technical College System of Georgia instructors and school counselors.
Lastly, the joint study committee recommends an ongoing return on investment analysis of the program to regularly evaluate workforce needs, related coursework, labor market demands and student access and participation.
More information on the Joint Study Committee on Dual Enrollment for Highly Skilled Talent at Younger Ages may be found here.