(a) The department of higher education shall conduct a study evaluating the availability of online courses that are offered as part of a dual enrollment program hosted by a certified institution of higher education located in the commonwealth.
(b) The study shall: (i) analyze the availability of such courses during the months of May, June, July, and August; (ii) identify areas of the commonwealth with inadequate access to such courses; (iii) take into account any standards or guidelines established by other state governments regarding online dual enrollment; and (iv) determine whether inadequate access to such courses disproportionately affects municipalities with a rate of educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree or above that is below the commonwealth’s average, a population greater than 35,000 and less than 250,000, and a median household income below the commonwealth's average.
(c) The study shall provide recommendations to expand the availability of online courses in the commonwealth. If in conducting the study, the department determines that there have been any disproportionate impacts to the municipalities described in clause (iv) of subsection (b), the department shall consider targeted measures to expand the availability of such courses in those areas, and shall provide such recommendations in the study.
(d) Within 180 days after the effective date of this act, the department shall submit a report on its findings to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the chairs of the joint committee on education and the chairs of the joint committee on higher education.
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