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NCES report: Students in 4 out of 5 high schools take college courses :: National Allia... - 0 views

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    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in U.S. DoE report on 2010-11 school year - estimated increase to 82% of all high schools offering college credit opportunities - most of which (77%) are offered on their high school campus in a "career center." A companion report on postsecondary providers of dual enrollment courses will be released in March. Full report available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013001.pdf
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Views: What's High School For? - Inside Higher Ed - 35 views

  • In theory, dual enrollment enables high school students to accrue college credits for very little cost and imbues them with a sense of confidence that they can complete college work. If students can succeed in college classes while still in high school, conventional wisdom holds, they will be more likely to matriculate at the postsecondary level.
  • In reality, though, dual enrollment may do more harm than good.
  • The problem is that high school is not college and completion of a dual enrollment high school class is not always a guarantee that students have learned the material.
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  • As a result, classes that used to be termed “college-prep” are now seen as college proper.
  • In practice, however, courses covered in a high school setting on a high school calendar are often vastly different in practice.
  • This is not a criticism of high school teachers. Many are excellent educators and care deeply about students. But they often teach more classes than college faculty do, have myriad extracurricular responsibilities, and lack the requisite training that enables college faculty to introduce best practices in the field. In contrast, college faculty members expect a higher level of work from students, including having them study independently, write in the discipline and be exposed to the latest research. They are less likely to offer extra credit, or evaluate students based on an inflated high school norm.
  • High school students, especially sophomores and juniors, are not like college students. A collection of 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds are normally at a different stage of intellectual and moral development than are college students. Treating a high school student like a college student does not always do them a favor.
  • This student, as a sophomore in high school, earned a “C” in a “college” English course, which exempts her from our basic English 111 College Writing class. Even though her ACT score indicates her writing skills are deficient, we are limited in what we can do. Like many students who have already passed a “college” class, she thinks she already has the necessary writing skills to be successful in college. We know she very likely does not. Our willingness to increase student access by accepting transfer credit means that, without taking this student’s credits away, we cannot help her with her writing. Instead, by virtue of an average performance as a high school sophomore, this student will be placed into college classes for which she is unprepared.
  • Most colleges willingly accept credits from like institutions because we trust that our courses are equivalent and that our faculty are credentialed. I doubt that same trust applies to high schools. The best service a high school can provide is to prepare students for college, not substitute for it.
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    High school dual enrollment programs may not be helping students succeed in college.
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