Ivy Tech offers more dual-credit options

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Area 30 Career Center Board of Directors met Tuesday morning to discuss several changes that may occur in the upcoming 2012-13 school year.

The board heard from Ivy Tech Community College Greencastle Executive Director Sharon Bone to discuss dual-credit opportunities and teacher licensing.

Dual-credit courses allow high school students to simultaneously earn credit toward both a high school diploma and a college degree. Research has shown dual credit plays an important role in strengthening the connection between high school and college, making the transition for students much easier.

A major change Ivy Tech will soon be implementing is that both ninth- and 10th-graders will be allowed to earn dual credits as well.

"In the past year over 25,000 Indiana high school students enrolled in dual credit," explained Bone. "That's a $12.2 million savings for Indiana parents on tuition."

This past year's dual-credit enrollment also saw a 20 percent increase in students compared to the 21,126 high school students enrolled last year. Dual-credit programs are offered in 300 Indiana high schools and career centers, which is a 20 percent increase from the 2008-09 school year.

Teacher credentials are also going to see some changes in the upcoming school year. In the past, teachers had to have a master's degree in their subject of study.

Ivy Tech is making changes to its policy, which will now allow teachers holding any license that makes them eligible to teach in a secondary institution able to teach a dual credit course in liberal arts.

"I think it's really going to open up some opportunities for teachers," said Bone. "It is our hope to increase the general education requirements and offerings."

Teachers wanting to teach a dual-credit course must have a completed major of at least 36 hours in the subject or related subject area in which they wish to teach. They also must have three years prior teaching experience and have received a rating of effective or highly effective in three of the last five years based on an evaluation.

Courses that will be offered included American government, American history, the sciences, economics, math, world languages and several other liberal arts.

Area 30 Executive Director Lora Busch shared information with the board regarding the 2010-11 Core Indicator Report.

Area 30 met most of their goals for the 2010-11 school year. Administrators hoped to have a 92 percent graduation rate -- it ended up with a 91.47 percent graduation rate.

"It wasn't quite there, but it was pretty darn close," Busch said. "We have been very successful in the past in meeting these indicators."

They also exceeded in such areas as academic achievement in language arts and math, technical skill attainment, completion, placement, non-trade participation and completion.

Post-secondary enrollment exceeded expectations at 64.57 percent, which was expected to be around 45 percent.

The board approved the hiring of Laura Elsbrock for a part-time position. Elsbrock will coordinate and proctor End of Pathway assessments as well as assist in the coordinating of schoolwide mock interviews.

The board also approved the Area 30 calendar for 2012-13. Each of the area schools attempted to make their calendars as close as possible to each other, however there are several differences in each. Area 30 will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 13.

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