Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

We ♥ Our Dual Enrollment Partners

by | Feb 14, 2014
By Linda Knicely, Battelle for Kids


"Love (and collaboration) does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." – Antoine de Saint-Expupery

With a sneak preview of Valentine’s Day, our blended learning cohort participants, including OAC districts and Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) partners, spent time earlier this week talking about relationships. Not the romantic kind, but the kinds that exist in productive dual enrollment partnerships. After first brainstorming the stereotypes and biases that each group (IHE faculty and high school teachers) often hear about the other, they then identified indicators of ineffective relationships, followed by indicators of highly effective partnerships. This is what they came up with:

Indicators of Ineffective Relationships

  • Lack of respect for content knowledge/degree snobbery (IHE faculty to HS teachers)
  • Lack of respect for teaching pedagogy/understanding the “real world” of high school students and ability to differentiate education (HS teachers to IHE faculty)
  • Sporadic communication
  • Lack of understanding about competing demands on time, for example Common Core (HS) and committee expectations (IHE)
  • Inflexible and stuck in their ways 
  • Professors feel that teachers are teaching to the test
  • IHE professional structure emphasizes competition/individualism over collaboration

Indicators of Highly Effective Relationships

  • Mutual respect
  • Recognition of being in this together – common goal of educating the world!
  • Focus on course objectives rather than debating the strategies of getting there
  • Open and continuous communication
  • Willingness to change and adapt
  • Two-way sharing of resources, best practices, and expertise
  • Create “date nights” (unscheduled, unstructured time to get to know each other)
These discussions were all part of the Quality Matters professional development series, with two days of sessions taking place February 10 and 11. The cohort participants spent the first day in the Quality Matters “Designing Your Blended Course” training and the morning of the second day attending sessions which introduced them to a variety of technology tools and approaches.

After the brainstorming exercise mentioned above, the second day concluded with content-specific (English and math) conversation among our higher education faculty and our dual enrollment secondary instructors as they forge new and stronger relationships and establish the foundation for productive partnerships. 

What do you think about the above lists? What do you think are the “must-have” indicators of highly effective relationships and how would you define a highly effective dual enrollment partnership?  Key components of the proposed College Credit Plus recommendations center around building partnerships between secondary and post-secondary entities. Relationships built on mutual respect and grounded in trust require an intentional focus and commitment from all the stakeholders, not just on Valentine’s Day but on a regular and ongoing basis. We appreciate the hard work that our OAC districts and our IHE partners are devoting to these efforts.

For more information, please contact Pam Noeth or Linda Knicely.