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Modifications will be made to the tuition rate for high school dual credit classes offered by East Central College.

 

At their April 1 meeting, ECC trustees approved revisions that will be phased in over a four year period regarding the amount students pay for dual credit and dual technical credit courses offered through area  high schools and career/technical schools.  Changes will also be made to the way faculty members who teach those classes are compensated.

 

The new system will establish a common rate for all participating high school students; moving away from the two tiered system currently in place for dual credit and dual technical credit.  For the upcoming 2013-14 academic year, dual credit tuition will be $75 per credit hour while students enrolled in dual technical credit classes will pay $30 per course.  By the end of the phase in schedule in the fall of 2016, all high school students taking dual credit courses will pay one half of the in-district per credit hour tuition rate.

 

Jean McCann, vice president of instruction at ECC, told trustees that having  the same tuition rate for both types of classes eliminates confusion related to out-of-district and other costs associated with a class.  “This will make dual credit more affordable and the new plan clarifies things for students and their parents, especially those who enroll in both dual credit and dual technical credit classes,” McCann stated.  “We believe the net effect will be an increase in enrollment.”

 

Courses offered for dual credit stem from agreements between the high schools and ECC whereby a high school student enrolls in a college course and simultaneously earns college credit and high school credit for the course. 

 

 “Dual credit courses can challenge students who have mastered or nearly mastered the complete high school curriculum and who require college-level coursework that is more rigorous than the high school curriculum,” noted McCann.  “Dual credit courses also enrich and extend the high school curriculum, provide introductory college coursework, and avoid unnecessary duplication in coursework as students move from high school to college.  By earning college credits prior to graduating from high school, students can make a smoother transition to college because they can lighten their course load.”

 

“Instead of enrolling in 17 credit hours as a college freshman, a student might be able to start out with 14 credit hours because he or she took a core course such as English, history or college algebra for dual credit in high school,” she said. 

 

“Dual technical credit classes are geared more to students who plan to pursue the career/technical path leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree so they can enter the workforce soon er , rather than transfer to a four year college or university to obtain a bachelor’s degree,” said McCann.

 

McCann noted that as for any instructor of college-level courses, high school teachers of dual credit courses must meet the same requirements for faculty teaching in institutions of higher education, as stipulated for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.  High school instructors teaching general education courses shall have a master's degree that includes substantial study appropriate to the academic discipline .  The tuition proposal as approved includes a modified pay schedule for participating dual credit faculty. 

 

McCann said the plan was well received by area superintendents when she and College President Jon Bauer met with those district leaders this winter.  For the 2013 spring semester, 502 students from nine area high schools were enrolled in dual credit classes through ECC, with 350 students enrolled in dual technical credit coursework.

 
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