Concurrent enrollment offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit on their high school campus from teachers who work closely with college faculty.
Sometimes called “dual credit,” “dual enrollment” or “college in the high school,” concurrent enrollment partnerships differ from other models of dual enrollment because high school instructors teach the college courses.
More than 25,000 high school students take concurrent enrollment classes in Minnesota, for which they get both high school and college credit. An estimated 1,400 educators teach those courses.
The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits colleges and universities in Minnesota and 18 other states, announced in 2015 that it would begin enforcing existing rules for the academic qualifications of teachers of concurrent enrollment courses by September 2017. About 75 percent of Minnesota’s current concurrent enrollment teachers must acquire additional graduate-level credits to continue teaching the courses after that date. In some cases, the credits may be awarded based on a teachers’ professional experience rather than completion of a formal graduate-level course.
Minneseota State has applied for a five-year waiver to extend that deadline until 2022.
Separately, the growing popularity of the courses has led Minnesota State to change its fees for overseeing the college courses taught in high school. The new structure aims to bring fairness to the program by creating uniform pricing for local districts for the oversight provided by faculty at Minnesota State colleges or universities. The new pricing will roll out over three to five years starting in fiscal 2018.
- Concurrent enrollment advisory boards are meeting throughout the year to discuss the Higher Learning Commission’s faculty qualifications requirements, tested experience and the Minnesota State roll-out of the pricing structure needed to cover direct costs of the program. Advisory board discussions will help shape how Minnesota State and its K-12 partners will work together to ensure faculty qualifications meet the Higher Learning Commission’s requirements, and how tested experience and the pricing structures will be approached. These topic items will be finalized this academic year.
- Minnesota State universities are designing graduate coursework and graduate programs that will provide for discipline-specific content that current and new or potential concurrent enrollment instructors need to meet the Higher Learning Commission’s requirements and will offer them in formats that meet the needs of working professionals across the state (online, cohorts, summer, etc.).
- The Minnesota School Board Association, Minnesota Association of Secondary Administrators, Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, Association of Metropolitan School Districts and Minnesota Rural Educators Association have submitted a joint letter to the Higher Learning Commission supporting the Minnesota State application to extend the compliance deadline until 2022.
- If the Higher Learning Commission grants the extension to 2022, the central office of Minnesota State will provide its colleges and universities with specific details for bringing into compliance the high school concurrent enrollment programs overseen by those colleges and universities.
Questions? Have suggestions or feedback? Contact the concurrent enrollment program director of your local Minnesota State college or university.