Alberta high school students now have an improved opportunity to get a jump on post-secondary education thanks to new education strategy announced by the provincial government.

Building on a $16.4M grant announced in May of this year, the government developed the Alberta Dual Credit Framework and the Dual Credit Implementation Guide. Both of these initiatives provide additional support and direction for school authorities to expand the dual credit program in their jurisdictions.

Dual credit programming allows high school students to earn credits for high school and post-secondary courses at the same time, providing them with a chance to explore career options.

Officials say the changes will encourage students to stay in school, help them make decisions about their future and save money on education.

“In some instances, students have been able to complete post-secondary with less financial debt. Expanding dual credit to every corner of the province is a great example of how we are working to make life better,” said David Eggen, Alberta’s Minister of Education.

Linking students with career education options early on helps develop an engaged workforce in Alberta and keeps the province at the forefront of the global economy, says John Oates with Skills Canada.

Since 2013, about 10,000 students have enrolled in at least one dual credit course each year.

The Government of Alberta has funded 51 dual credit opportunities in addition to the dual credit partnerships already in place.