Friday, September 5, 2014

Examining dual credit inequities

Dual credit is one of several strategies that has proven effective in helping more students reach college- and career-readiness and achieve success at the postsecondary level. So, it makes sense to fully utilize this strategy to help us reach our goal of college/career-readiness for all students and our ultimate goal of a better prepared workforce.

However, in June, Council on Postsecondary Education President Robert King, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Executive Director Carl Rollins and I received a letter from House Education Chair Derrick Graham and Senate Education Chair Mike Wilson. The letter expressed concerns that members of the General Assembly were hearing from constituents about consistency in implementation of dual credit policies across the Commonwealth. The letter asked President King, Dr. Rollins and me to pull together a task force to look at the concerns with dual credit policy implementation and bring back recommendations around access, finance, quality, and transfer of credit.

This week, the dual credit task force had the first of its three planned meetings; the agenda focused on a national perspective and how Kentucky compares. Dr. Jennifer Zinth, from the Education Commission of the States, provided the group with an excellent review of current state policies and best practices for dual credit. The next presenter, Dr. Amy Loyd, shared information from the Harvard Pathways to Prosperity Project, Jobs for the Future dual enrollment strategies and data from a national review of early college programs.  I encourage you to click on the links above to view their presentations.

The task force agenda for the Sept. 26 meeting at the Council for Postsecondary Education will focus on Kentucky-specific issues. The group will hear updates from CPE, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities on how higher education institutions are implementing current dual credit policies in our state. The presentation will focus on access, finance, course quality and transfer of credits. 

Also, KDE will be updating the dual credit survey – first completed in 2013. We will be providing superintendents with survey access at the September 11 Superintendent Summit and ask for a quick response so that we can provide a state perspective at the Sept. 26 task force meeting. 

Finally, at the next meeting we will be inviting a number of best practice sites from across Kentucky to provide examples of the high performing dual credit programs in Kentucky.

Should readers have questions or comments about the dual credit task force, please contact Marissa Hancock in our Office of Career and Technical Education.  We expect to issue a final task force report and recommendations in December.

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