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Education

Sarasota County Schools Approve New Dual Enrollment Deal With USF

Sarasota County School Board Member Bridget Ziegler at a meeting Tuesday night
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF
Sarasota County School Board Member Bridget Ziegler

The Sarasota County School Board has approved a deal for some University of South Florida college courses to be offered at local high schools.

The new program comes after State College of Florida scaled back its dual enrollment offerings last year, citing “inconsistencies” with “academic quality.” SCF still offered dual enrollment courses at the college campus or online.

School Board Member Bridget Ziegler said SCF's move made it harder for students to take college courses for credit. 

“Regardless of what led us to that place, it hurt our students,” said  Ziegler.

The new plan should help fill that void, according to School Board Member Shirley Brown.

“We can graduate more kids that are not only college ready but they’ve already got their leg up and they are performing college level courses already,” Brown said.

The unanimous 5-0 vote Tuesday night means certain USF courses, like advanced math, will be offered for college credit at high schools.

Only students who meet course requirements and maintain a high grade level can enroll.

Students will have to maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) to apply. Courses will be offered online, at USF Sarasota-Manatee, and in certain high schools.

“It is a different articulation agreement than we had with SCF. The standard is very different. A four year university like USF, they require a different level, a different standard, to get in,” said Steve Cantees, the district’s executive director of secondary schools.

The deadline to apply is May 31.