Dual enrollment is spreading rapidly: At 82 percent of public high schools, students can earn high school and college credits at the same time, according to a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010–11,
In most cases, students took college-level classes taught on high school campuses by high school teachers. High school students took 2 million college courses in 2010-11, up from 1.2 million in 2002-03, NCES estimates.
Dual enrollment courses “create a college-going culture in high schools that motivate students to begin thinking about college and careers,” said Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools in Florida.
Early college for all is the new goal of Duplin County schools in rural North Carolina, reports Education Week.
After (Duplin County Superintendent) Austin Obasohan visited Duplin Early College High School on the campus of James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, N.C., he was inspired.
The academic expectations for students were high there, and nearly all students were graduating from high school—most with an associate degree.
“We want a unified commitment to give every child the same opportunity,” says Obasohan, who came on the job in July 2010.
Teachers will begin creating a “college-going culture” starting in kindergarten. Students in all five district high schools will have a chance to take college-level courses.
The county’s high school graduation rate has risen from 71 percent in 2009-10 to 80.7 percent in 2011-12. Enrollment is divided about evenly between white, Hispanic, and African-American students. About 70 percent qualify for a subsidized school lunch.
Community colleges can reduce the need for remediation by collaborating with feeder high schools to prepare students, reports Inside Higher Ed.
In California, Long Beach City College faculty worked with Long Beach Unified teachers to align high school and college courses. By using high school grades, not just placement tests, to decide who can start in college-level courses, LBCC dramatically lowered remediation rates.
For example, 53 percent of the group took transfer-level English courses in their first semester, while only 5.5 percent of students from the same high school district took the courses the previous year – meaning they were 10 times more likely to jump directly into credit-bearing English. And their passage rate of 62 percent was roughly the same as the college’s typical passage rate in English.
Fully 60 percent of the students in the program, which is dubbed “Promise Pathways,” placed into transfer-level English courses, compared to 11 percent of the college’s overall student population.
LBCC now places 31 percent of Promise Pathways students in college-level math, compared to 7 percent of students overall.
South Texas College, located near the U.S.-Mexican border, has works closely with high schools to prepare students for college. Sixty-eight partner high schools offer dual enrollment programs, giving students a head start on an associate degree.
. . . the high school partnerships have helped drive down remedial placement rates to 17 percent, an extremely low number for a college that serves a largely lower-income, first-generation college population. The remedial placement rate has dropped by 45 percent since 2004, and Shirley A. Reed, the college’s president, credits dual enrollment as being a big part of that improvement.
“The high schools have accepted responsibility for college readiness,” Reed said. “Now we share in the responsibility.”
Preparing students for college success is the high schools’ job, write Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers in an Ed Week blog.
High schools should put “our kids on a path to a good job,” said President Obama in the State of the Union speech.
Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.
. . . Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.
Many high schools offer “dual enrollment” courses that let students earn college credits — usually through a local community college — while completing high school. Moving to a German-style apprenticeship system, which explicitly prepares students for skilled jobs, not for higher education, will take a lot more than money. It will take a major attitude change from college for all to competency for all. (Competency for most?) President Obama, whose administration cut funds for career tech programs, could lead the way.
Despite high unemployment, some 600,000 jobs in advanced manufacturing and other high-tech fields are unfilled for lack of qualified workers, testified Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Chicago is trying to fill the skills gap.
Five high schools in the Chicago Public Schools district, including Corliss High School, Chicago Vocational Career Academy, and Lake View High School, began offering career-training tracks in September. The vocational programs are aligned with the needs of area businesses such as IBM, Motorola, and Verizon, which each partnered with a school to design alternative curricula, according to the CPS Website.
. . . Students enrolled in the program can earn a technical certification and credit toward an associate degree from City Colleges of Chicago, along with a high school diploma.
Two-year technical pathways can lead to lucrative careers, notes U.S. News. “Electrical engineering technicians earn a median salary of about $56,000 with an associate degree, and the median pay for nuclear technicians is roughly $68,000 with an associate’s, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Radiology technicians also earn high salaries with a two-year degree.
A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill that would require college coursework as a condition of graduating from high school. The move would increase the number of students going to college, make their degrees more affordable and encourage students not considering college to continue in higher education, said Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat who is the bill’s chief sponsor.
Oregon students must pass 24 high school classes to earn a diploma. In its current form, Senate Bill 222 would require six of those classes earn college credit, starting with the class of 2020. It promises funding — how much is unstated — to train high school teachers to teach college-level courses.
It’s nice to know Oregon students are so accomplished that all can be expected to complete high school work in three years and move on to college work.
A North Carolina bill backed by Gov. Pat McCrory would create a “career ready” diploma in addition to a “college ready” diploma. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is headed for the House. “Career and technical teacher licensing requirements also would be revised to help develop more teachers in those fields,” reports AP.
Aa the fishing industry declined in New Bedford, Massachusetts, high school dropout rates rose. However, Bristol Community College is partnering with high schools to reduce dropouts through a Middle College program that lets students earn college and high school credits at the same time.
Dropouts or students at risk of dropping out must pass placement tests and be interviewed to get into Middle College.
In just one year, Middle College has yielded success. What started as a 20-person cohort boomed to nearly 70 this past September, with more growth expected as the program continues to send high school grads out into the real world. Program leaders attribute the jump in enrollment to not only the partnership with the local schools, but word-of-mouth endorsements from current students to friends or family in similar circumstances.
“I was out of high school for five years before a friend recommended Middle College to me,” said Michael Camara, a first-year student in the program. “So I took the placement tests, I got accepted and now I’m on my way to my degree in business entrepreneurship. It’s tough, balancing family and school—I do have a three-year-old at home—but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Of five students who completed their high school diplomas in Middle College’s first year, three are enrolled at BCC and a fourth plans to enroll this spring.
About to become a father, Darius Payne explains why he enrolled in Middle College. “I don’t want to be a bum raising a child. I want to have something, show something to my child.”
With enrollment plummeting, Dawson Community College in Montana’s oil and gas belt is offering free tuition to “dual enrollment” high school students and to former students who are close to a degree, reports AP.
Dawson’s enrollment dropped 22 percent from fall 2011 to 2012; the college is down to about 259 students. At Miles Community College, enrollment fell by 9 percent to 368 students.
The Bakken oil boom is partially to blame, said DCC President James Cargill. Students who graduate from high school may be lured to higher-paying jobs in the oil fields rather than going to college.
. . . The college also is struggling to find instructors for technical programs such as diesel and gas mechanics and welding technology because people with those skills can make more money in the oil fields.
Tuition waivers will go to high school students taking college classes in the Early Start program. Under Finish Line, adults who’ve dropped out three or more year ago can take up to 10 credits tuition free.
Miles Community College is stressing training in oil, pipeline and coal jobs, such as heavy equipment operation and construction. Students also can train for high-demand jobs in computer technology and auto mechanics and for health careers such as phlebotomy, pharmacy technician and medical lab technician.
Flush with money because of the oil boom, North Dakota is spending more on higher education.
The push for a $10,000 bachelor’s degree has come to California, reports the Sacramento Bee.
With the cost of going to college already more than $30,000 a year at many California campuses, is it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree for just $10,000 – total?
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, hopes so.
Borrowing an idea being promoted by Republican governors in Texas and Florida, the GOP assemblyman has introduced a bill that would create a pilot program in California for what he’s billing as a $10,000 bachelor’s degree.
Assembly Bill 51 calls for high schools, community colleges and California State University campuses to develop a low-cost degree path in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) majors in Chico, Long Beach and Turlock.
High school students would earn college credit through Advanced Placement classes and dual enrollment in community college courses, Logue envisions. Community college students would be encouraged to enroll full time.
The $10,000 would include textbooks, but not room and board. Currently CSU students spend $5,472 a year on tuition and another $2,000 annually.
Did Texas Just Discover the Cure for Sky-High Tuition? asks Lara Seligman in The Atlantic. Not really, she concludes.
Texas universities are offering bachelor’s degrees for $10,000, including tuition, fees and textbooks, pushed by Gov. Rick Perry. Average tuition alone in Texas at a public four-year institution is $8,354 a year, close to the national average.
In the Lone Star State, 10 institutions have so far responded to the governor’s call with unique approaches, ranging from a five-year general-degree pipeline that combines high school, community college, and four-year university credits to a program that relies on competency-based assessments to enable students to complete a degree in organizational leadership in as little as 18 months.
Angelo State University has created a four-year interdisciplinary-studies program for an overall cost of $9,974.
The University of Texas (Arlington) will offer a low-cost bachelor’s to students who’ve earning dual-enrollment credits in high school and spent a year at a local community college.
Texas A&M University (San Antonio), has designed a new $10,000 degree in information technology and security which should help graduates find military and security jobs in the region.
Universities aren’t becoming more efficient, however, Seligman warns.
. . . most of these programs would only reduce the price tag for the student, not the cost to the institution of providing the degree. While select students might pay less overall, institutions must deliver the same faculty, facilities, time, and knowledge they provide to students paying full price for their degrees.
If universities don’t find ways to improve productivity, they’ll have trouble subsidizing low-cost degrees.
Students are competing for a shot at a six-year high school in Brooklyn that offers vocational training and college classes, reports the New York Times.
By 2017, the first wave of students of P-Tech — Pathways in Technology Early College High School — is expected to emerge with associate’s degrees in applied science in computer information systems or electromechanical engineering technology, following a course of studies developed in consultation with I.B.M.
“I mean, in 10th grade, doing college work?” said Monesia McKnight, 15, as she sat in an introduction to computer systems course taught by a college professor. “How great is that?”
New York City plans to open several more schools on the P-Tech model, and other states are following suit.
“When we view high-quality C.T.E. programs, we see how engaged those students are and what clear aspirations they have for their future,” said John B. King Jr., the state education commissioner. “Unfortunately, that’s not always present in some of our struggling schools.”
In its second year, P-Tech houses ninth and 1oth graders at Paul Robeson High School, which is being phased out because of poor performance. Some 88 percent of P-Tech students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch. Half tested below proficiency in eighth grade, but they’re already passing state Regents exams and taking college courses.
Students attend from 8:35 a.m. to 4:06 p.m., in 10-period days that intersperse traditional classes like math and English with technology and business-centric courses like “workplace learning,” which teaches networking, critical thinking and presentation skills. Second-year students are offered physics and global studies as well as the business courses and college-level courses in speech or logic and problem solving — or both. There is also a six-week summer academy for geometry.
Students who straight to the workforce will be prepared for “entry-level technology jobs paying around $40,000 a year, like software specialists who answer questions from I.B.M.’s business customers or “deskside support” workers who answer calls from PC users,” reports the Times. Students aren’t guaranteed a job at IBM, but they should have skills required by many companies as well as the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in two years.
Each student also is paired with an IBM mentor and visits the company’s offices and labs. The principal also has an IBM mentor. The company helped train the school’s teachers and funds a full-time liaison to work with college faculty, who also helped develop the curriculum.