In 2005, Senate Bill 300 created the Expanded Options program to provide eligible high school students early entry into post-secondary education, with specific provisions and priorities for at-risk students.
- Creates a seamless education system for students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 to have additional options to continue or complete their education, earn concurrent high school and college credits, and gain early entry into post-secondary education.
- Promotes and supports existing accelerated college credit programs, and supports the development of new programs that are unique to a community’s secondary and post-secondary relationships and resources.
- Any program, agreement or plan in effect (e.g., dual credit, tech-prep, or accelerated college credit program) that provides access for public high school students to a post-secondary course is not affected by the Expanded Options Program and may be continued.
- Allows for school districts to utilize educational general fund resources to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks at eligible post-secondary institutions. The school districts make direct payment to the eligible post-secondary institutions. There is no out of pocket cost for students, parents, or guardians for tuition, fees, textbooks, equipment, and materials for students who participate in the Expanded Options Program.
- Credit Hour Cap Limits: For a high school with an enrollment of 1,000 students, each school year no more than 330 quarter credit hours may be awarded to eligible students at the high school under the Expanded Options Program. A school district may choose to exceed that cap. If a district chooses not to exceed the cap and has more eligible students than allowed, the school district shall give priority for participation to at-risk students.
- An “at-risk” student is identified as one who qualifies for a free or reduced lunch program.
Who Is an “Eligible Student”?
- An “eligible student” is one enrolled in an Oregon public school, who is in grade 11 or 12 or is 16 years old or older at the time of enrollment in a course under the Expanded Options Program, has developed an educational learning plan, and has not successfully completed four years of high school.
- A student who has completed course requirements for graduation, but who has not received a diploma, may participate in the Expanded Options Program.
- An eligible student who enrolls in the Expanded Options Program may not enroll in eligible post-secondary courses for more than the equivalent of two academic years.
What Is an “Eligible Post-Secondary Course” and an “Eligible Post-Secondary Institution"?
- “Eligible post-secondary course” means any nonsectarian course or program offered through an eligible post-secondary institution if the course or program may lead to high school completion, a certificate, professional certification, associate degree, or baccalaureate degree.
- “Eligible post-secondary course” does not include a duplicate course offered at the student’s resident school.
- “Eligible post-secondary course” includes academic and career technical courses as well as distance education courses.
- “Eligible post-secondary institutions” include community colleges, public Oregon universities, and Oregon Health and Science University.
What Does a College Need to Do?
- Allow eligible students who participate in the Expanded Options Program to enroll full-time or part-time in an eligible post-secondary institution.
- Eligible post-secondary institutions may designate individual programs in which eligible students may enroll.
- If an eligible post-secondary institution accepts an eligible student for enrollment, the eligible post-secondary institution shall provide academic advising to the student as appropriate, and send written notice to the student, the student’s resident school district, and the Department of Education within 20 days of acceptance indicating the courses and hours of enrollment offered to the student.
- Eligible post-secondary institutions may enroll an eligible student participating in the Expanded Options Program only in eligible post-secondary courses under the program.
- Eligible post-secondary institutions may not be required to accept a student for enrollment in the program.
What Does a District Need to Do?
- Prior to February 1 of each year, each school district shall notify all high school students and the students’ parents or guardians of the Expanded Options Program.
The school district notice must include, but not be limited to, information about:
- Financial arrangements for tuition, textbooks, equipment and materials;
- Available transportation services;
- The effect of enrolling in the Expanded Options Program on the eligible student’s ability to complete the required high school graduation requirements;
- The consequences of failing or not completing an eligible post-secondary course; and
- The requirement that participation in the Expanded Options Program is contingent on acceptance by an eligible post-secondary institution.
- Each school district shall establish a process to ensure that all at-risk students and their parents are notified about the Expanded Options Program.
- It shall be the priority for school districts to provide information to high school students who have dropped out of school.
- Under the Expanded Options program, a student is considered a resident pupil of the school district.
- The school district must negotiate an agreement with the post-secondary institution to pay actual tuition, fees and other required instructional costs of the student.
- All textbooks, fees, equipment, and materials provided to an eligible student and paid for by the school district are the property of the resident school district of the student.
- Community colleges may not charge the student for tuition, fees, and other required instructional costs if the college receives payment for the student from the school district.
- The school district retains the requirement of providing special education and related services to the eligible student with a disability.
- A resident school district may provide transportation services to eligible students who attend eligible post-secondary institutions within the boundaries of the school district, and any transportation costs incurred by a school district for this purpose shall be considered approved transportation costs.
Further information on Expanded Options is available at the Department of Education (ODE) Expanded Options webpage