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Course Access Can Expand Learning Opportunities to Underserved Students

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By: Dr. Carri Schneider

For the past three years, Digital Learning Now (DLN) has been tracking the progress of state policies that support personalized, digital learning. The DLN State Report Cards reveal activity across the country in giving more student access to high-quality learning opportunities. Course Access policies are one of the most exciting developments in state education policies to support expanded access.

Released today, "Leading in an Era of Change: Making the Most of Course Access Programs," highlights policies and signals an important evolution in education.Additionally, a complementary infographic, " Bringing Course Access to ALL Students," features a set of guiding questions for legislators, State Education Agencies, school districts and parents, was released.

Course Access provides public school students across varying learning environments from diverse public and private providers with expanded course offerings. Students have the freedom to select from a wide range of courses, in a variety of formats, including traditional, online and blended. By supplementing traditional school course offerings with options from partnering providers, Course Access can dramatically increase the learning opportunities available to students.

Course Access has been, and will continue to be a to be, a collaborative effort as DLN and their partners continue to define this transformative policy. The paper addresses the challenges facing Course Access, and offers ideas and recommendations to help states assess program effectiveness. The paper also delves into how states can work together to address shared challenges and seize opportunities to support each other.

In addition to highlighting promising practices in Course Access policy from states like Louisiana, Utah and Minnesota, the report also offers implementation recommendations.

Join the conversation and follow @DigLearningNow and #CourseAccess on Twitter.

For more information, download the full paper and infographic.

Dr. Carri Schneider is Director of Policy and Research at Getting Smart. Find her on Twitter at @CarriSchneider.

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