As concurrent enrollment programs grow the number of college courses offered to high school students, they are often faced with the challenge of finding high school teachers with the appropriate credentials to teach for the college. In many states there simply aren’t enough high school teachers who possess sufficient graduate coursework in the subjects they teach to serve as adjunct faculty for the colleges and universities that provide concurrent enrollment courses.
NACEP, and regional postsecondary institutional accreditors, expect colleges and universities to apply the same credentialing criteria to concurrent enrollment instructors as adjuncts are held to on campus.
High school teachers interested in teaching concurrent enrollment express frustration that subject-specific master's programs are not accommodating to their schedule and can be extremely costly. Additionally, many high school teachers who already have master’s degrees in education discover that there are few incentives for them to pursue the additional subject-specific graduate coursework needed to qualify to teach concurrent enrollment courses. Changes in state teacher licensing systems have led to a decline in the numbers of veteran teachers pursuing master's degrees and those that do typically pursue a master's degree in education. Veteran teachers who hold subject-specific master's degrees are often being replaced with teachers who possess only bachelor's degrees.
To address these challenges, states and postsecondary institutions are beginning to implement programs to incentivize and open doors for high school teachers to earn the credentials they need. NACEP recently hosted a webinar, Increasing the Pool of Faculty Eligible to Teach Concurrent Enrollment, to look more closely at programs in Indiana, Montana, and Wyoming. A special thanks goes to our presenters: Patrick Cannon, Purdue University North Central; Maryellen Tast, Laramie County Community College; Joe McCann, Wyoming Community College Commission; and Amy Williams, Montana University System.
Here are the highlights:
Purdue University North Central’s Concurrent Enrollment Teacher Academy (Indiana)
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education provided a grant to Purdue University North Central to develop a Concurrent Enrollment Teacher Academy. Purdue University North Central is working with university faculty to develop online graduate classes and nine credit hour Graduate Certificate programs in eight of their most common concurrent enrollment course areas. These courses will then be offered to teachers whose applications are accepted at no charge. Upon completion of the program, high school instructors will be University Certified Concurrent Enrollment Partnership instructors and will be adjunct eligible.
Montana’s Dual Credit Incentive Program
The Montana University System offers a temporary waiver option to teachers who possess a master’s degree but lack the required nine graduate credits in the content area. Through this process, teachers are given three years to complete the graduate credits and may begin teaching concurrent enrollment classes the same semester they enroll in their first graduate course.
The Montana University System also incentivizes teachers to earn more training through their Credit-4-Credit program. Teachers earn a credit reward for every credit of concurrent enrollment taught. Earned credits can be used for undergraduate or graduate tuition at any public Montana College or Tribal College and can be given to someone else to use if desired.
Wyoming Adjunct Professor Loan Repayment Program
Wyoming legislature appropriated $100,000 for 2013-14 and $150,000 for 2014-16 biennium to cover loans for Wyoming public school teachers to attain the necessary qualifications to become adjunct faculty at a community college. Teachers qualify by getting nominated by the Wyoming School District that employs them. They also must be endorsed by the school district and community college to teach a concurrent enrollment course, once qualified. If the high school instructor teaches a concurrent enrollment class after completing their education, they will not have to pay back the loan. The Wyoming Community College Commission manages the program.
Want to know more? NACEP members may listen to the original webinar at http://www.nacep.org/member-resources/webinars/. If you are not a NACEP member and you are interested in accessing the webinar, please contact Kimberly Mobley at firstname.lastname@example.org.