OADEP’s (Ohio Alliance of Dual Enrollment Partnerships) story begins in late 2009. A group of practitioners, having met at the NACEP conference, began meeting three to four times a year. There was initially about 15 of us, from both higher education and K-12, sitting around the table. Our discussions focused on best practices, opportunities and challenges in using qualified high school instructors to teach college courses. We began inviting colleagues from around the state to join the conversation.
This model of dual enrollment (as it is called in Ohio) was rapidly expanding. Other than NACEP, there was no other organization, local or state, dedicated solely to providing professional development. Seeing a need, in Fall 2010, OADEP hosted its first state conference. Well over 250 people from K-12, higher education, state and local educational organizations attended.
However, the state was also looking at how this model was expanding. With various funding and program models throughout the state, in 2013 a task force was created to bring it under the same umbrella. In 2014 College Credit Plus (CCP) was born and passed into law. OADEP’s focus began to change. We were no longer advocating on behalf of one model of dual enrollment, but all.
We recognized that we could be a single voice, and resource, for all educators in the state of Ohio. We held our third professional development event focused on the new CCP law. At the same time, we fast tracked turning our informal group into an official organization. We looked to NACEP as our guide. We created bylaws, elected our first group of officers, and filed state and federal paperwork. We were named NACEP’s first affiliated state chapter in 2014.
In any volunteer-based organization, there are always growing pains: balancing schedules for meetings, finding volunteers willing to serve, navigating legal paperwork, completing tasks for the organization on top of your work duties, etc. When those volunteers are spread all over the state, at times, simple tasks take longer to complete. For example, it took four months to have everyone who needed to be on our bank account in the same room!
Was it easy? No. In addition to trying to grow as an organization, we were (and still are) navigating state law changes every year. Was it worth it? Yes. We are:
- growing our membership, currently just under 100 K-12, higher education and other education based organizations;
- managing a listserv of over 250, providing members the opportunity to ask questions and support each other;
- planning our 5th annual state conference for November 2017;
- providing speakers for conferences, workshops, etc, held across the state by various organizations;
- receiving increased interest from members to serve, either on a committee or in a leadership position.
OADEP, at its very core, is a grass roots cadre of dual enrollment practitioners and advocates from across the state. We are committed to being the voice that helps our members navigate the ever changing dual enrollment landscape. For more information about OADEP, visit our website, www.oadep.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.