Iowa Dual Credit Information

Senior Year Plus (SYP)

Senior Year Plus was established in May, 2008 by the Iowa legislature.  The enacted statute (Iowa Code Chapter 261 E) created the “Senior Year Plus Program”, providing more consistency in expectations for students, teachers, parents, schools, and postsecondary institutions.

Senior Year Plus include:

  • Advanced Placement
  • Concurrent Enrollment Program
  • Career Academies
  • Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program
  • Project Lead The Way
  • Regional Academies
  • Summer College Credit Program

Though many of these programs were available to students in Iowa prior to 2008, the SYP legislation was implemented to ensure all students in Iowa have increased and more equal access to courses that have the potential to generate college credit in high school.

Additional information on Senior Year Plus programs may be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Concurrent Enrollment in Iowa

In Iowa, the concurrent enrollment program promotes rigorous academic and career and technical educational (CTE) pursuits by providing opportunities for high school students in grades 9 through 12 to enroll in eligible nonsectarian courses at or through the state of Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges.

Concurrent enrollment courses are offered through contractual agreements between community colleges and school districts (also referred to as district-to-community college sharing). Courses may be taken at a high school, on a college campus, or through online/distance education. The instructor may be a community college instructor or a high school instructor employed by the contracted school district who meets state and college faculty standards and requirements.

Through the program, community college courses are offered to classes of high school students. The classes are college classes — even if they are held in a school district classroom. During the time of the concurrent enrollment course, the site acts as a satellite location of the college. Nearly every Iowa school district offers students access to some form of concurrent enrollment opportunity; however, the depth of this access varies by district and corresponding community college service region.

Concurrent Enrollment Instructor Qualifications

All instructors teaching community college credit courses must meet state minimum faculty standards. Adjunct instructors, including those delivering courses under the Senior Year Plus/Concurrent Enrollment Program, are subject to this requirement.

Under the concurrent enrollment program, teachers employed by the school district  serve as community college adjunct faculty and must meet the same standards and requirements as the community college’s on-campus instructors (281 IAC 22.3(1)).

For additional information, see the community college quality faculty section of the Department’s website.

Funding for Concurrent Enrollment Courses

In Iowa, high school students enroll tuition free through the concurrent enrollment program. The cost of enrollment is covered by the students’ local school district.

School districts contracting courses through the concurrent enrollment program are eligible to receive additional funding (called “supplementary weighting”) from the state provided the contracted course meets all eligibility criterion ((281 97.2(5)).

For concurrent enrollment, supplementary weighted funding provides districts with funding to pay community colleges for delivery of concurrent enrollment courses. The funds are used to help offset the cost of the college courses, often making up for revenue that is not collected through tuition (and often for books or transportation) since the courses are provided at no cost to students.

Enabling Legislation

 Additional Information

  • Detailed information about the state of Iowa’s Senior Year Plus programs can be found in the Senior Year Plus Guide for Educators and Educational Administrators. This comprehensive guide is designed to assist educators, counselors, and administrators in understanding the requirements and expectations of the Senior Year Plus programs. It contains program descriptions, requirements, timelines, and other useful resources.
  • Iowa Student Outcomes: This student outcomes dashboard allows Iowa partners ease of access to Iowa’s student outcomes in one consolidated place providing information related to student success, from PK-12 education and college readiness, to postsecondary education, gainful employment, and adult literacy programs.
  • Iowa Community Colleges Joint Enrollment Report: The Iowa Department of Education collects information on joint enrollment from Iowa’s 15 community colleges. Jointly enrolled students are high school students enrolled in community college credit coursework. In fact, more than 97% of high school students jointly enrolled were enrolled through the concurrent enrollment program during academic year 2021. Additional annual reports on joint enrollment may be found here.

Participating Institutions