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6/7/2017 Rep. O’Brien notes continued success of his dual education program at North Providence High School
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien’s legislation (2013-H 6290) from the 2013 General Assembly session that called for dual enrollment programs at Rhode Island schools is proving to still be a success as evidenced in a recent North Providence Valley Breeze story regarding the expansion of the PTECH academy at North Providence High School.

Representative O’Brien’s legislation enables students to enroll at a college or university as non-degree students and have the courses be recognized toward degree completion at both the college and high school level.  Representative O’Brien is a truancy officer in the Providence school system and has seen firsthand the opportunities his legislation has opened up for students.

“The dual education program is continuing to provide opportunities to our high school students and their families and I could not be happier that this law is being effectively used to benefit students at North Providence High School.  Our kids are learning the skills they will need to succeed in the future and their families are saving much needed dollars through this program and I am looking forward to seeing new programs be established from this important and helpful law,” said Representative O’Brien.

“We are thankful to Representative O'Brien for his support of this law, as well as the governor, state legislature, Commerce Department, and RIDE. PTECH will provide NPHS students with relevant, hands on 21st century career and college skills in the medical field.  Thus far the interest from North Providence students and families has exceeded our expectations, and we are excited about the future,” said Joseph B. Goho, Principal of North Providence High School.

The legislation directed the Board of Education to establish a statewide dual enrollment policy, to be adopted by school districts and schools by June 30, 2015.  All school districts, charter schools, career and technical schools, approved private day or residential schools and collaborative schools will be subject to the requirements of the law.

The legislation also directed the Board of Education, in preparing the policy and regulations, to convene a workshop of representatives from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Office of Higher Education, school superintendents, school committees, public higher education institutions, guidance counselors and teachers to consider and advise the board on all aspects of a dual enrollment program which will give high school graduates the ability to get an associate’s degree as they graduate high school at no cost, including the manner in which low-income students could access the program and possible contracted tuition costs at institutions of higher learning.

“This legislation gives our students the tools and opportunity to succeed in the future.  It saves thousands of dollars for working class families struggling to afford the price of higher education and it positions Rhode Island for the better with a stronger future workforce.  I am so pleased this program is working and I urge all students and families to take part in its success,” added Representative O’Brien.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903