Phoenix, Mesa high schools receive $950k grant to expand dual enrollment

Jun 10, 2023, 7:15 AM

(Facebook photo/Phoenix Union High School District)...

(Facebook photo/Phoenix Union High School District)

(Facebook photo/Phoenix Union High School District)

PHOENIX – ElevateEdAZ, a Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation initiative, received a $950,000 grant from the Helios Education Foundation to expand dual enrollment in two large Valley public school districts.

Dual enrollment allows high school students to take classes that earn college credit, which is proven to increase educational and career success down the road.

The Helios grant will be awarded over the next two years, allowing ElevateEdAZ to build upon a 2022-2023 project with Mesa Public Schools and the Phoenix Union High School District.

The ElevateEdAZ project led to dual enrollment increasing by 40% in the fall of 2022, according to a Thursday press release.

“We know from our research that students who take dual enrollment courses are twice as likely to attend college,” Paul J. Luna, Helios president and CEO, said in the release.

“This proves there are clear benefits to these college-level courses. It prepares students for the rigorous coursework they’ll face in college and gives them confidence that they’ll succeed.”

Helios is a nonprofit group that supports postsecondary attainment for minority and low-income students in Arizona and Florida.

About a quarter of Arizona high school graduates took at least one dual enrollment course, according to a recent Helios report.

“By increasing participation in dual enrollment, we aim to increase the number of students completing post-secondary degrees that lead to high-wage, high-skill positions in growing fields,” Jennifer Mellor, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s chief innovation officer, said in the release.

“In doing so, ElevateEdAZ will open doors for Arizona students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The grant will build on the $15.5 million in the state budget to expand access to dual enrollment in Arizona.

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Phoenix, Mesa high schools receive $950k grant to expand dual enrollment