|Dual Credit Growing Across
Increase opportunities for students to earn (college) credit toward a degree... while in high school; including expanded opportunities... on high school campuses. - Ohio Senate Bill 311 charge to the Ohio Partnership for Continued Learning
Ohio has a stated goal to involve 30% of all students in opportunities to gain college credit while in high school by 2014.
While a great deal of focus has been placed on the state's new Seniors to Sophomores (S2S) program that allows qualified high school seniors to spend a full year on a college campus, not all students will want to take advantage of such an option. However, S2S also calls for the expansion of "other dual enrollment or accelerated learning programs."
One such dual enrollment program is the opportunity for students to earn both high school and college credit for the same course while at high school. Known as dual credit courses, these offerings are taught by high school teachers who qualify as college adjuncts.
A study to be released by the Stark Education Partnership next week, Growing Dual Credit, shows that unprecedented collaboration between area K-12 districts and higher education institutions is rapidly making the state's goal a reality. Dual credit courses are expanding in Stark and neighboring Columbiana and Wayne Counties (Education Region 9) under grants secured by the Stark County Educational Service Center and through the collaboration of seven area colleges, universities and branch campuses.*
From 53 students taking special summer courses a year ago, the enrollment for the 2007-08 academic year reached 421 students. The study also found a high degree of student success (76% with A's and B's) and agreement among college and high school faculty alike that the rigor of college coursework had been maintained.
Dual credit courses not only allow students an opportunity to gain a 'head start" on college while at high school, such courses result in substantial savings. Using a conservative base figure of $309 per a three-hour college course,** the offerings last year represented at least $130,089 savings in college coursework for students and parents. Savings on purchasing college textbooks*** could add another $33,680-$42,100 to this figure.
*The University of Findlay, KSU Stark and Salem, Stark State College of Technology, University of Akron-Wayne, Mount Union, and Walsh University
**Based on the instructional fee for a three hour course at Stark State College of Technology (see: http://www.starkstate.edu/finaid_bus/tuition_fees.htm)
***While it is difficult to estimate the costs of single textbooks for the multiple dual credit courses cited here, figures of between $80-$100 dollars per book are not unreasonable (Association of College Bookstores, GAO, and other sources)