Dual Enrollment: The Role of Policy in Promoting Quality Pathways to Postsecondary Success

Dual Enrollment: The Role of Policy in Promoting Quality Pathways to Postsecondary Success
Dual Enrollment: The Role of Policy in Promoting Quality Pathways to Postsecondary Success


Accelerated learning serves as a promising tool to provide students the opportunity to move through secondary and postsecondary education at a pace that meets their academic needs. This final webinar in our accelerated learning series will focus on state policy that impact dual enrollment (acceleration across secondary and postsecondary education).  We will consider national trends, model policy components, and share resources and experiences to assist states.

During this webinar, we will hear from Jennifer Dounay Zinth of Education Commission of the States who will be sharing ECS’s recently released brief on model components of dual enrollment policy as well as trends of ECS’ recently updated database on dual enrollment state policy. Adam Lowe from that National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships will describe his organization’s role in building the capacity of states and institutions to ensure and monitor quality in concurrent enrollment programs. John Fischer, Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Department of Education, and Joyce Judy, President, Vermont Community College, will share how recent legislative changes in Vermont have increase the state’s capacity to provide quality dual enrollment as part of an overall effort to ensure all students have flexible and appropriate pathways to postsecondary success.


Presenters include:

John Fischer, Deputy Commissioner, VT Agency of Education

Joseph R. Harris, Ph.D., Director, College & Career Readiness & Success Center, American Institutes for Research

Joyce Judy, President, Community College of Vermont

Adam I. Lowe, Executive DirectorNational Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP)

Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Senior Policy Analyst and Co-Director, Information Clearinghouse, Education Commission of the States

Presenter Biographies

Photo_Fischer formatted

John Fischer is currently the Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Department of Education. Previously, John held positions at Plymouth State University and in the NH community college system as Dean of Students, Vice President and Provost. John joined the VT DOE in 2006 as a consultant and later as Director of the High School and Adult Division, leading school improvement, high school innovation and transformation,  and also serving as the State Director for CTE. In 2012, John was appointed by the State Board of Education as the Deputy Commissioner of Transformation and Innovation. This year, he serves as President of the National Association of State Directors of CTE. In the next school year, 2014-2015, school districts will pilot either the model or work with their own evaluation system and determine if the components in their system align with the Guidelines. The Agency will plan trainings for evaluators beginning this summer.

Harris FormattedJoseph R. Harris, PhD, Managing Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research, has an extensive background in secondary school improvement, college and career readiness, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) reform as a practitioner, researcher and evaluator. He currently serves as Director of the College & Career Readiness & Success Center, a national technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to help regions and states promote knowledge development and dissemination and effective collaboration among CCRS stakeholders. From 2006 to 2012, he served as the Director of the National High School Center, also funded by USED, to promote college and career readiness, dropout prevention, and integrating special and general education instruction.

From 1994 to 2006, Dr. Harris served as project director for a series of major technical assistance contracts funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of the Systemic Initiatives, a multiyear NSF effort designed to foster STEM education reform in more than 100 state, rural, and urban school district projects. Dr. Harris also has led numerous K–12 initiatives to improve program operations and outcomes in areas such as differentiated teacher compensation, program evaluation, student assessment, strategic planning, education policy, program equity, minority student achievement, and public/private partnerships. For the first two decades of his career he was a public school teacher and administrator and, since then, has worked in a variety of public school settings. Dr. Harris holds a B.A. in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Florida, an M.A. in Secondary Education from the Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Photo_Judy formatted

Joyce Judy began her career at Community College of Vermont (CCV) as a coordinator of academic services in 1983. She subsequently served as dean of students, became the College’s first provost in 2001, and served as interim president for a year before becoming president in March of 2010.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of New Hampshire and received her master’s degree in Organization and Management from Antioch New England Graduate School. Joyce is the 1996 recipient of Vermont Women in Higher Education’s Jackie Gribbons LeadershipAwards. For three decades Joyce has been instrumental in the organizational growth of CCV, helping to shape many prominent partnerships and programs. Under her leadership the College has greatly increased services to military veterans, and she guided the development of the Governor’s Career Ready Certificate, which provides workforce readiness training throughout Vermont. She has been a champion of CCV’s dual enrollment program for Vermont high school students, now serving more than 1,000 students each year. Her support for the College’s work with Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national Lumina Foundation initiative focused on student access and retention, led to CCV’s designation as a 2011 ATD Leader College. A special focus of her work since becoming president has been to help people understand the value CCV brings to Vermonters and to Vermont businesses. This outreach has led to significant growth in community support for the College, reflected in yearly increases in gifts and private grants to the College.

Joyce currently serves on the board of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, the New England Board of Higher Education, Vermont Campus Compact, Central Vermont Medical Center, and the Vermont Higher Education Council. She was a founding member of the Vermont Women’s Fund and has been a member of several New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation teams.

Photo_Lowe formatted

Adam Lowe is the first Executive Director of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), helping to steer a previously all-volunteer professional organization through a time of growth and transition.  For the decade prior to joining NACEP, he was an education policy consultant for a variety of universities, nonprofit organizations and state and federal agencies in Washington, D.C. and Indiana.  In Indiana he assisted in launching new, innovative high schools for the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis with funding from the Gates Foundation.  His previous consulting contracts include the University System of Georgia, Indiana Department of Education, The Mind Trust, City of Indianapolis, Ball State University, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and the former D.C. State Education Office.  He holds a Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University and resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Photo_Dounay Zinth formatted 2

Jennifer Dounay Zinth, ECS Senior Policy Analyst, co-directs the ECS Information Clearinghouse, which provides policy and research information and analysis to state education leaders and their staffs, the media and the general public. Zinth also leads ECS’ High School Policy Center, which provides state policy information, analysis and research on a number of high school reform issues, including college-readiness. Zinth has presented and written extensively on transitions from high school to postsecondary, and has been cited by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Education Week. A writer, Zinth contributed a chapter to Promising Practices during High School, and an article on early college high schools to The Council of State Governments’ 2009 Book of the States, both released in 2009. Zinth’s chapter “State Policies to Increase Rigor and Relevance in High Schools” was published in 2012.


Click here to view part 1 of the slideshow

Click here to view part 2 of the slideshow

Click here to view part 3 of the slideshow

John Fischer

Deputy Commissioner

Vermont Agency of Education

120 State Street, 4th Floor

Montpelier, VT 05620-2501


Joseph R. Harris, Ph.D.


College & Career Readiness & Success Center, American Institutes for Research

1000 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20007


Joyce Judy


Community College of Vermont

PO Box 489 ·Montpelier, VT 05601


Adam I. Lowe

Executive Director 

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP)

PO Box 578, Chapel Hill, NC 27514


Jennifer Dounay Zinth

Senior Policy Analyst and Co-Director

Information Clearinghouse, Education Commission of the States

700 Broadway, Suite 810

Denver, Colorado  80203-8442



The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.