Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Dual Enrollment—Helping to Prepare Students for Success after High School

by | Jan 06, 2014
By Dr. Pamela Noeth, Battelle for Kids

Increasing the supply of educated workers is imperative to refueling the economy of the Appalachian region.  To do this, OAC school districts have been working to promote college and career readiness among students to ensure they are prepared to successfully pursue educational and career opportunities after high school that will lead to a high quality of life.  Achieving a culture of college and career readiness is especially important for Appalachian communities, which have historically lower college-going, college-completion, and attainment rates compared to the rest of the nation.

Responding to these and other challenges, the OAC has made dual enrollment a key strategy in closing this gap. Since 2010, the number of OAC students enrolled in dual enrollment courses increased by 186 percent, from 457 students to 1,308 students. 

The roadmap for this success has included several steps along the way, including:

1. Ready-Set-College!

The OAC leveraged grant funding from the AT&T foundation to develop an implementation guide for school districts, along with professional development for developing comprehensive dual enrollment programming, as well as productive partnerships with institutions of higher education. Learn more about Ready-Set-College.

2. Teacher Credentialing 

In the state of Ohio, teachers must hold a master’s degree in the content area in order to teach approved dual enrollment coursework. The OAC has partnered with institutions of higher education (including Shawnee State, Ohio Dominican University, and University of Toledo) to develop master’s degree programs that can be completed in blended learning environments in 18 months or less.  These are unique programs that will benefit many OAC teachers, as many master’s degree programs take more than three years to complete and are not accessible to rural and Appalachian teachers.

3. Dual Enrollment Policy Advocacy

The issue of dual enrollment funding is quite complex.  The OAC has been active in supporting policies that promote strong partnerships between higher education and K-12 school districts. Some of the recommendations the OAC supports include:
  • A strong dual enrollment program for students, not simply funding allocations.
  • Language that allows flexible partnerships between higher education and K-12 school districts.
  • Policy that promotes sustainable cost for K-12 districts. Currently, K-12 school districts bear a great deal of the costs of dual enrollment funding, including teacher salaries, student tuitions, textbooks, and digital fees. Sustaining all four components of this funding is not sustainable, especially for most rural school districts.
In the coming months, we’ll feature additional blog posts providing an in-depth view of OAC dual enrollment strategies. Stay tuned! If you’d like more information regarding the OAC’s dual enrollment programming, please contact Dr. Pamela Noeth or leave a comment below.