By Ripon Advance News Service
U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) on Oct. 30 proposed a bipartisan bill that would give more American students the chance to earn college credits while they’re attending high school.
“Our bill aims to provide resources so states can create a fast track pathway for students that includes access to advanced coursework, dual credits, and professional support,” Sen. Young said.
The lawmaker is the lead original cosponsor of the Fast Track To and Through College Act, S. 2736, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to increase rates of college completion and reduce college costs by accelerating time to degree, aligning secondary and postsecondary education, and improving postsecondary credit transfer, according to the congressional record bill summary.
“Early college programs help families avoid college debt while preparing students for postsecondary education,” said Sen. Young. “In Indiana, we have seen great success from programs like these.”
If enacted, S. 2736 would allow students enrolled in early college programs to take as much as a full year of early college courses toward their postsecondary degree or credential; require public colleges and universities to accept credit from early-college programs; and expand access to such programs by allowing Pell Grants to cover dual-enrollment costs for low-income, eligible students in states receiving a fast-track grant, according to a bill summary provided by the senators.
States would receive funding priority if they can demonstrate that they have existing policies to encourage early college completion, commit to developing multiple fast track pathways that include career and technical education programs, and prioritize fast track access to historically underrepresented students, according to the summary.
The bill, which has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has received several endorsements, including from the Alliance for Excellent Education, Education Reform Now, Jobs For The Future, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.