Post Secondary Enrollment Option Grows in Stark
It is the state's oldest program allowing high school students to take college courses. The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP) was formed in 1989 as a way for qualified students in grades 11 and 12 to take courses for both high school and college credit. In 1997, the program was expanded to include 9th and 10th graders.
Critics of PSEOP contend that the program has never been used by more than 5% of Ohio's high school population, that two out of three participants are female, and that only one out of every ten students are minorities.* Further, issues surround how PSEOP is funded, traditionally requiring a payment to colleges and universities from existing district funds.** Despite these problems, PSEOP remains a powerful college access tool and students who participate in the program are more likely to go on to college and complete a degree than their peers.
While the development of new dual enrollment programs, such as Seniors to Sophomores or dual credit courses may be blurring the validity of PSEOP statistics, the measure still remains the only statewide indicator of post secondary participation by high school students.***
How is Ohio doing? FY 08 figures from the Ohio Department of Education show that PSEOP among school districts only increased from 11,064 (FY07) to 11,676, an increase of 5.5%.
In Stark County, PSEOP increased from 396 to 481 students, an increase of over 21%. PSEOP remains only one of several programs, known as College Opportunity Credits (COCs) allowing Stark students an opportunity to earn or bank college credit while in high school. In 2008, county participation in all programs combined totaled 4,227.
* See: The Promise of Dual Enrollment: Assessing Ohio's Early College Access Policy, A publication of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation at http://www.kwfdn.org/resource_library/resource.aspx?intResourceID=825
** Proposed Ohio HB1 will further alter PSEOP funding. See: HB 1 Bill Analysis at: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/
*** New developments will allow Seniors to Sophomores to be measured separately