Bill at Minn. Legislature could make PSEO classes more accessible

Bills in the MN Leg look to bring in more high school student involvement in college courses, adding affordability

Students resume their day outside Anderson Hall on West Bank Monday late afternoon

Daily File Photo

Students resume their day outside Anderson Hall on West Bank Monday late afternoon

Max Chao

Proposed state legislation could make PSEO classes more accessible.

Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, introduced a bill that aims to make Post-Secondary Enrollment Options grading scales more understandable and would let colleges and universities advertise programs directly to high school students.

“We are trying to… [make] sure that all students have access to PSEO,” Loon said.

The bill could accomplish this is by removing a “gag rule,” which stops universities from advertising to high school students and families about PSEO programs, she said.

Participation in PSEO allows high school students to earn college credits for free by taking classes at a college or university in Minnesota.

Another major part of the bill would ensure PSEO students have access to the same technology and software as regular college students.

The bill also includes language requiring institutions to post the grade-weighting policies of each class.

“I think it’s just good practice that our students are made aware of that early so that they can have an informed decision on coming [into] … PSEO at the U,” said Scott Coenen, program director of PSEO at the University of Minnesota.

Loon said PSEO plays a large role in controlling the cost of college for many families.

“The program has been a great benefit to parents and families for helping to make college affordable,” she said.

PSEO benefits students by offering opportunities not available in many high schools, said University of Minnesota PSEO student Andrew Yang.

“The PSEO program not only helps people take classes they wouldn’t be able to take, it enriches the academic experience,” Yang said.

A companion bill authored by Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, is also being discussed at the Legislature.

The bill, included in the Education Finance Omnibus bill, was heard in the House’s Education Finance Committee on Friday and was heard by the Tax Committee on Monday.