Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration
Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration

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Raimondo Praises Board of Education for Making College More Accessible

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo applauded the vote taken this evening by the Rhode Island Board of Education approving a new set of regulations to allow qualified public school students to pursue college-level coursework while they are still in high school.

Approving these new regulations is a step toward the creation of Prepare RI, a Jobs Plan initiative that will allow qualified students to take college-level courses at no cost to them. Raimondo's proposed budget includes a request for $1.3 million for Prepare RI.

"One way to help students build the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy is to make a college degree or professional certification more accessible and affordable," said Raimondo. "Tonight's Board vote demonstrates our commitment to helping students reach their education goals more quickly. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to expand access to this initiative by providing it at no cost to the student."

"With the passage of these regulations we have the opportunity to encourage more of our high school students to consider college-level work," said Barbara Cottam, Chair of the Board of Education. "Thanks to these regulations, high school students may enroll in any of the courses that our public postsecondary institutions offer -- opening up a wide range of opportunity for our high school students to earn college credits and advance their learning."

"One of our top priorities has been making sure that our high schools offer challenging coursework, and through dual-enrollment programs, our high school students from all communities will now have access to credit-bearing, college-level courses," said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. "I applaud the Board of Education for approving these far-sighted regulations, and I commend Governor Raimondo for proposing Prepare RI, which is in the best interest of Rhode Island students and the Rhode Island economy."

"The regulations will allow us to expand early college access for all qualified public high school students, particularly those who have been traditionally under-represented in postsecondary education," said Jim Purcell, Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. "Our three public postsecondary institutions in Rhode Island strongly support these regulations, and we look forward to opening up more opportunities for personalized learning for thousands of students across Rhode Island."

The regulations that the Board approved expand opportunities for dual enrollment, where students enroll in courses in postsecondary institutions and simultaneously earn both college credit and course credit toward earning their high school diploma. The regulations also encompass concurrent enrollment, where students take college-credit courses at their high schools that are taught by an approved teacher.