YLC Celebrates the Passage of AB 102 to Expand Dual Enrollment
New Law Creates Steps Toward Educational Equity for Youth In California’s Juvenile Justice System
Youth Law Center is excited to announce that California AB 102 (Holden), legislation to support juvenile justice impacted students’ access to higher education through dual enrollment, was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Friday, September 30th, 2022. This new law, sponsored by Assemblymember Holden, paves the way for justice-impacted youth to get a head start on their education and future..
Youth in the juvenile justice system face many challenges on their journey to postsecondary education. The quality of education available in court and alternative schools varies widely, youth are often behind in credits when they enter these schools, and schools often provide little to no information about any postsecondary opportunities. While youth in the juvenile justice system desire to enroll in postsecondary education, they too frequently lack information and preparation to do so. Dual enrollment programs, which allow high school students to take community college courses and earn college credit in both academic and career subjects, can address all of these potential barriers. Dual enrollment offers youth the opportunity to recover credits, receive college-preparatory instruction, build relationships with college professors and staff, and gain exposure to the college environment.
Justice impacted students like Jacqueline Rodriguez have had their futures shaped by opportunities to participate in dual enrollment:
“Taking college classes with a supportive community of professors, staff, and other students with the same situation of being in the juvenile justice system, allowed me to graduate in three years, and transfer from community college to UCLA where I’ve recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English . I am hoping to go to law school after graduation and help advocate for other kids just like me and for future generations, including for my own kids.”
Prior to the passage of AB 102, it was unclear whether County Offices of Education, which run court schools, could participate in College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) dual enrollment partnerships, which limited opportunities for many students. AB 102 explicitly authorizes their participation.
Students who participate in dual enrollment through CCAP do not have to pay tuition, fees, or materials costs, and under CCAP, colleges have the option to offer closed sections of courses on high school campuses. Youth in court schools are disproportionately low income and may be unable to access on-campus courses while in a juvenile detention facility. The CCAP program will allow COEs and colleges to bypass those potential barriers, thus making dual enrollment a realistic option for this vulnerable population of youth.
The passage of AB 102 is another step forward in building truly inclusive college access pathways for all youth, no matter their background or circumstances. YLC was excited to sponsor this important bill, and celebrates this milestone achievement with juvenile justice impacted students across California.