Archive for the 'Dual Credit' Category
There was a great (FRONT PAGE!) article in the Waco paper on Monday that I have been too busy to blog about. The title says Local officials: Employers looking for skills and specialized training, not just four-year degrees. It mentions programs at TSTC (Aviation Maintenace and Automotive Tech) and McClennan Community College (Accounting and Nursing). The article also covers the important link to high schools for the programs.
My take: It’s a great article that gets to the heart of what we need to be doing - getting students serious about job skills starting in high school (not about degrees alone).No comments
An article in the Corsicana Daily Sun about CTE at Corsicana High School mentions secondary and post-secondary connections twice (Corsicana is about 55 miles from TSTC Waco).Â The building trades teacher said “his program has 38 young men working on their carpentry level I certification, which is very much like a college transcript, and are being taught the same curriculum as students in Waco at TSTC”
The new automotive teacher was most recently teaching in the award-wining Toyota program at TSTC Waco.Â We hated to seem him go, but we are glad that his high school students will get the benefit of his experience and dedication.Â Our best wishes go out to Michael Schmidt in his new postion at Corsicana High School.
If the tide in technical education is going to continue to turn, high schools and colleges need to persevere in finding ways to partner.Â As we work on more articulation, dual credit, and innovative programs our students and our economy will be the winners.No comments
Channel 25 out of Waco did a great story on our collaboration with Waco Independent School District on technical dual credit. My boss, President Elton Stuckly is interviewed and so is Donna McKethan from WISD.
You will also see students who are taking an integrated Math class that teaches math with technology. I blogged about that here.No comments
Over at the Mpowered blog, there is a post about a proposal to require California students to take algebra in the 8th grade.Â The post does a good job of showing the illogical underpinnings of the argument, so I don’t think that I need to address it.Â I will say that my experience with my own kids indicates that good teachers make a difference and early algebra does not. (I linked to the category since I couldn’t find a permalink.Â The article title is ‘Algebra earlier policy not proven anywhere.’)
‘Early Algebra’ is another example of ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.’Â The Texas 4×4 (four years of math, english, science, and social studies) is in danger of the same accusation as it now stands.Â Although the Texas 4×4Â for high school students is a good idea, it rests on a shaky foundation.Â The facts are plain - students who have passed Algebra 2 with decent grades don’t actually perform at the advertised level.Â Students who are unprepared for Precalculus and Calculus will do poorly in those subjects, too.Â Since four years of math are required, the teachers and principals will have the choice of continuing to pass under-prepared students, or failing them, causing them miss graduation.Â History tells us what will happen.
I support four years of math in high school with the following provisos:
- A meaningful technology or business math course must be an alternative for those not headed to Calculus
- Failure MUST be an option
- Provisions will have to be made for ‘credit recovery’ when students fail
- Passing a dual-credit College Algebra course should meet the 4th year requirement*
I believe that these ideas are needed to make the 4×4 effective.
*I realize that this may seem strange, but college-readiness is the point and basic math college-readiness and passing College Algebra are close to the same.Â I consider this to be focusing on the desired result rather than the process of getting there.Â Also, it has always been an issue for me that a full college academic course requiring more work than a full year high school course only counts .5 high school credits.No comments
TSTC Waco, with help from a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) grant*, is hosting a Summer Bridge program for Waco ISD rising 11th and 12th graders.Â The students are raising their placement test scores, eating well, having fun, and getting their hands on some cool technology.Â They are also receiving some survey class college credit.
These students will be academically prepared for college.Â The video indicates that they will be enthusiastic about continuing past high school, as well.Â I can’t think of a better way for them to spend a summer.
*The grant did not cover the cost.Â TSTC and WISD had to help.No comments
TSTC Waco was featured on this local news story about increasing numbers of distance learning students.Â The cost of gasoline was suggested as one explanation.Â The video (here) notes that we had 713 students enrolled in DL courses this summer, up around 300 from last summer.
The reporter interviewed a student named Elisabeth Sandifar out on the campus mall.Â Â She is a dual credit student.Â Karen Norman, an instructor in Computer Networking & Systems Administration who is continuing her education online from UT Tyler, was also interviewed for the piece.2 comments
Via “No Sucker Left Behind”, Inside Higher Ed reports that NYU will not be accepting dual credit courses taught at high schools by high school teachers qualified and certified by the credit-granting college. They will be accepting AP credits. It seems crazy to me, and they don’t appear to have any research to back it up.
I know that when our college offers credit in this manner, the high school teacher must meet the same qualifications and curriculum alignment must occur. Not accepting that coursework seems short-sighted to me. It is also a view into why I believe that our system is out-of-date, out-of-touch, and out-of-time.
I just read one of the responses in the comments section from the Academic Integrity Coordinator of UC, San Diego. It reads:
Dual Enrollment Teaches Students the Wrong Lessons
I am so pleased to see that a major university has made this decision, albeit for different reasons than I problematize â€śdual enrollments.â€ť The dual enrollment program reinforces in students a consumer mentality of higher education by teaching them that the academy accepts short-cut methods for earning college credit and prioritizes credit acquisition over learning. Why do we wonder, then, that students view other â€śshort-cuttingâ€ť methods (e.g., copying and pasting off the internet, copying homework, submitting the same paper in two different classes for credit, and unauthorized collaboration) as viable and acceptable methods for completing college courses? This â€śdouble dippingâ€ť may offer students short-term benefits (e.g., college access), but NYUâ€™s bold step begs the academy to step-back and contemplate the potential long-term costs of dual-enrollment and other credit-acquisition schemes. How does â€śdual-enrollmentâ€ť affect our studentsâ€™ cognitive, moral/ethical, and social development? What are the psychological and adjustment ramifications for the students who enter college as â€śbetter-than-perfectâ€ť because they receive extra credit for AP classes? Are there ways to prepare students for college-level education and enhance access WITHOUT teaching them that it is acceptable to double-dip and WITHOUT reinforcing in them the countryâ€™s obsession with grades? I would hope so and I hope NYUâ€™s decision stimulates a nation-wide discussion on this issue.
All I can say is that this attitude is exactly what is going to cause our current system to go down the tubes. Yes, our students have a consumer mentality. ‘The Academy’ is going to need a service mentality to meet the challenge. I am dumbfounded that taking a college course for college credit could be called a “credit-acquisition scheme.” I am just flabbergasted by the assertion that taking dual-credit at high school is like plagiarism!4 comments
Again from a friend at Texas Workforce Commission, this report about the lack of real change in schools. Highlights … I mean lowlights include:
- Time: Nationally, the amount of time spent in elementary school on core subjects has increased by only approximately 36 minutes per week-less than 10 minutes per day.
- Teaching: About 8 percent of public school districts offer pay incentives for excellence in teaching. That figure has remained virtually unchanged since 1984.
- Standards & expectations: 12th grade test scores in reading and science have dropped, while average high school GPAs have grown dramatically. Students are earning higher grades in “tougher” subjects, yet actual learning is either stagnant or declining. For instance, in math, almost half (two out of five) high school seniors lack skills commonly taught in the 7th or 8th grades that are needed to learn trades that do not require a college degree.
There is a lot to read in the report. I still believe that dual credit can help with a lot of these problems. Even with more dual credit, our educational system is stuck in the past.No comments
I ran across the following in the Waco ISD CTE Newsletter for March 2008. It isn’t available online yet.
Jonathan Lozano, a senior at A.J. Moore Academy was recently surprised by an envelope from TSTC. He opened the envelope to find a Certificate of Academic Achievement. This certificate is awarded to part-time students earning a 3.75 or above during the previous semester. Jonathan earned a 4.0 in his Welding Technology Dual Credit class. His name was also published in the February edition of the Tech Times.
This is Jonathanâ€™s second year in Welding Technology. He earned six hours last year, he earned three hours last semester and is enrolled in three hours this semester.
Jonathan plans on pursuing a Certificate in Welding from TSTC and eventually become an architect. He believes that the knowledge, skills, and abilities learned in welding will easily transfer into coursework in architecture. Jonathan should complete his certificate program in December of 2008.
Will welding make him a better architect? If he designs steel structures, you know it will! He will also have a skill he can make good money with while he works on that architecture degree.No comments
Collegiality is a word that one hears pretty often in higher education. After all, a college should certainly be collegial - right? Human nature being what it is, that doesn’t always happen. Yesterday, though, the Provost of Howard College in San Angelo, Texas spent thirty minutes of her valuable time helping us improve our dual credit program. (I have described my enthusiasm for dual credit before). LeAnne Byrd was very helpful. So was Joy Gay from the San Angelo Independent School District.
On the same day I received a call from Odessa College. An industrial partner had suggested that they come and look at our Instrumentation program (ICR - Instrumentation, Computerized Controls, and Robotics). I gladly agreed. We are justifiably proud of our program and have been repeatedly told that it is the best or one of the best in the nation. Wasn’t I worried about them stealing our program? Not really - and there is an important principle here…
Technical education is as much about economic development as finding jobs for students. The better we all do, the better our economies will perform. The taxpayers have funded this stuff. Let’s work together for their good! (which will also be good for us!)No comments
I ran across this cost comparison at the City Colleges of Chicago site. It shows the difference between their associate degree, Devry, a private college, and a prominent proprietary school. The proprietary schools are a pet peeve of mine.
I had the opportunity to examine an outlet of a well-known private tech school chain as a member of a site visit team. The facilities were OK and the teachers seemed fairly dedicated. After looking at the curriculum, I don’t think they were getting close to the education they could have gotten at our college. I am certain that at least some of the students were learning enough to get a job. What concerns me is this - The credits are not transferable and the cost is enormous.
Graduates come out owing well over $30,000 and with no way to take those credits and apply them to a BA or BS later. Our automotive instructors tell me that high school students committed to a proprietary auto tech school will refuse to reconsider because they have paid a $100 application fee. Saving that $100 will eventually cost them an extra $25,000 before interest. It will cost even more if the lack of a BA makes promotion impossible. (Insert your thoughts about the state of economics and financial education here.)
If you are a high school CTE teacher, please develop a relationship with good, solid, public college technical programs through articulation, dual credit, information sessions, visits, shadowing, industry contact, and scholarships. Don’t let your students wind up paying back $40,000 or $50,000 after interest for an inferior education.
Be sure your students understand where the proprietary school recruiter got the money for his tailored suit and BMW.1 comment
A recent article in Community College Week points to a study showing that dual enrollment programs provide significant benefits for high school students. Although more research needs to be conducted in this area, the study indicates that improved graduation rates, greater college attendance, and higher GPAs are all associated with taking dual enrollment classes.
I am not surprised by any of this. I am a big supporter of dual enrollment/credit programs. I have been working on expanding opportunities at my own college ever since I “went over to the dark side” of administration a couple of years ago. I have seen what can be accomplished from the faculty perspective with high school students in my college class. I have also seen it from the program side. I should also mention that it has been important to me personally. My older daughter graduated from a four-year degree in three years, partially due to dual credit ($$$ was saved). My younger daughter should have her Associate degree in pre-nursing by the time the rest of her cohort graduates from high school thanks to dual credit (and a lot of hard work on her part).
Where the article gets really interesting for me is in the discussion of technical students:
“Researchers paid particular attention to high school students enrolled in career and technical education courses, those who are traditionally considered not bound for college. They found in many measures, the gains documented for the whole sample also held true for career and technical education students.”
I will pass on the comment that CTE students are not college bound. Many are headed to health or technical careers that either require or benefit from post-secondary education. What is important is that they realized that CTE students benefit from dual enrollment just like other students. I already knew this was true, but the validation is welcome.
(On a side note, I was happy to see that my own technical college has already made progress on the recommendations of the researchers. It feels good to be ahead for a change!)No comments