Schools of Higher Learning

Questioning Teaching Qualifications

Dual enrollment - in which high school students can take college courses and earn credit before graduation - has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years. After all, students can earn college credit for free, be exposed to higher education and gain confidence in their ability to do college-level work. Colleges benefit from the additional students, who may enter their halls already prepared and able to move through to graduation.

But an accreditor is raising questions about whether some of these high school teachers have the proper credentials to offer college-level courses.

A policy clarification by the country's largest regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, has many of the colleges and high schools within HLC's 19-state, Midwestern jurisdiction scrambling to get their teachers, and some college professors, up to par.

HLC's clarification said that high school teachers in dual-credit courses, along with all instructional college faculty, must have a master's degree in the specialty they're teaching, or they need at least 18 graduate-level credit hours within that specialty. Colleges have until September 2017 to assure that any high school teachers with whom they work meet such requirements. Many of the high school teachers leading dual enrollment courses may either have just a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree in education, but not in the subject matter they're teaching. Some states within HLC's jurisdiction, like Arkansas, are already in compliance with the guideline, so their programs aren't affected by the change. (Advanced Placement teachers aren't affected because they aren't affiliated with colleges in which their students later enroll. Colleges that award credit do so on the basis of AP exams.)

"We do not believe if a student is in a course in high school for college credit that they should be offered anything at a substandard level. They should have teachers with the same qualifications as college faculty, " said Barbara Gellman-Danley, president of the Higher Learning Commission, which is based in Chicago.

Some students in dual enrollment, also known as concurrent enrollment, programs have been known to complete their first year of college or achieve an associate degree before their high school graduation. According to a 2013 report from the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 15, 000 public high schools enrolled students in college courses in 2010, and from 2002 to 2011, dual enrollment had an annual growth rate of over 7 percent.

The education requirements have always been an expectation of HLC, but over time the commission found that some colleges were not complying or, they were "taking too much of a soft touch" with the guidelines about the high school teachers with whom they work, Gellman-Danley said.

Because dual enrollment courses are often built by college faculty, it's the responsibility of the professors and colleges to make certain the high school teachers offering these courses have the right credentials.

You might also like:
Higher Powered Learning - Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools
Higher Powered Learning - Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools
FreedMinds Old School Higher Learning Promo
FreedMinds Old School Higher Learning Promo
Global Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Transgressing Boundaries (Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education)
Book (Springer)
Higher Learning
Higher Learning
Tour of Jean Grey School of Higher Learning in Second Life
Tour of Jean Grey School of Higher Learning in Second Life
Matthew Scicluna School of Higher Learning
Matthew Scicluna School of Higher Learning
Jean Grey School of Higher Learning- Commercial shoot
Jean Grey School of Higher Learning- Commercial shoot
Related Posts