This past fall, the Ohio Alliance of Dual Enrollment Partnerships (OADEP) hosted another successful state conference with keynote speaker Adam Lowe, NACEP’s Executive Director. Approximately 220 Ohio secondary and post-secondary participants attended conference sessions at Central Ohio Technical College on November 12-13, 2015. Lowe’s address focused on national and state policy updates which offered the Ohio audience members a broad perspective in which to compare Ohio’s changing landscape of dual credit options. He emphasized the importance of using the NACEP quality standards and guidelines as a benchmark measure when creating or revising dual credit programs.
Other keynote speakers included Lauren McGarity from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the office of Legal, Policy & Legislative Services as well as Wendy Cantrell from the Ohio Department of Education. Ohio’s dual credit program, newly named College Credit Plus (CCP), encompasses all former dual enrollment/dual credit programs. CCP was implemented to standardize and expand dual enrollment opportunities across the state. The CCP implementation began in the fall of 2015 and will undergo rule modifications for 2016. Ms. McGarity provided updates regarding proposed rule changes for 7-12 grade students who want to enroll in college courses summer 2016. This will be the first time in Ohio’s history where middle and high school students will be eligible to receive state funding to take summer college courses either on-campus or online. In previous years, high school students were required to pay reduced tuition rates for summer college courses.
During the conference, participants were able to attend workshop sessions on several topics related to CCP including legal matters, counseling, and early college as well as learn about logistical procedures for registration, billing and reporting of data during the “Block Registration” session.
Additionally, the Friday lunch keynote speakers Dr. Rich Seils from the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and Dr. Jon Tafel of Sycamore Street Consulting summarized findings from the study, “Navigating Central Ohio’s College and Career Readiness System,” conducted in April 2012 and updated in Fall 2015 by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. 1 In referring to Peter Smith’s “Law of Thirds” philosophy from his book, Harnessing America’s wasted talent: a new ecology of learning,² the speakers reminded the audience that College Credit Plus mostly addresses the learning needs of students in the top one-third; however, other services are needed to help the other two thirds of students understand career pathways and industry sectors for career attainment.
The report recommends that actions be taken to expand the benefits of College Credit Plus and to help prepare Ohio’s young students to participate and succeed in college and careers. For real transformation to occur, students need to be made aware of college and career information beginning in the middle school grades, and Ohio needs to strengthen the alignment of K-12 and postsecondary expectations. Additionally, the report recommends that learning support services for students who need them be improved and that bridge programs to make a seamless transition from high school to college and careers be created.
Overall, participant feedback from the conference was very positive and OADEP’s board and conference committee will begin discussing workshop sessions for next year’s event. OADEP’s board of directors also gives a special “thanks” to NACEP for providing website and listserv support and general guidance in helping to make the OADEP conference a success. In its first year, the OADEP membership has doubled in size for a total of 64 members as of December 2015.
¹Navigating Central Ohio’s College and Career Readiness System report, Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, (2012 and 2015), pp 1-4; 43-45.
²Harnessing America’s wasted talent: a new ecology of learning. Smith, Peter. (2010). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.