A new report from Jobs For the Future (JFF) profiles strategies to overcome the shortage of qualified high school instructors who can teach college courses through concurrent enrollment, particularly in districts with high numbers of low-income students. The report studies the investments and approaches used by three districts and their college partners:
- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District and South Texas College (Texas),
- Brownsville Independent School District and Texas Southmost College (Texas), and
- Denver Public Schools and Community College of Denver (Colorado).
Drawing on lessons learned from innovations by these partners, the study recommend that districts and concurrent and dual enrollment programs employ the following strategies:
- Weigh the cost and benefits of using high school adjuncts versus college faculty
- Deploy qualified instructors strategically across district high schools
- Maximize a limited supply of instructors by using innovative approaches to time
- Expand the ranks of qualified adjuncts by subsidizing the cost of graduate education for veteran teachers
- Design and deliver graduate courses in an accelerated format tailored to current teachers
A recent article in Inside Higher Ed also described the growing number of states and colleges offering incentives and programs to help high school instructors obtain subject-area graduate degrees and coursework. The article focused on demand for such programs in the 19 state region covered by the Higher Learning Commission, which raised its minimum qualifications for college faculty in 2015, effective fall 2017. Due to the adverse impact on concurrent enrollment programs, which constitute the largest adjunct instructor pool at many institutions, HLC provided many institutions with extensions for concurrent enrollment instructors through September 2022.
Members of NACEP have access to a directory of graduate programs that are offered around the country for high school instructors seeking discipline-specific graduate coursework. The directory can be queried by discipline, location (for in-person courses), and indicates whether the course is online or on campus.