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Indiana dual credit teachers get more time to meet new credentialing standards

Indiana dual credit teachers get more time to meet new credentialing standards

Ivy Tech - River Forest dual credit

April Moehl, a department chair of industrial technology at Ivy Tech-Lake County, gives River Forest High School students, on Aug. 21, 2019, a demonstration of a cooling tower machine — similar to what workers use at Praxair, a company helping fund the students' dual credit manufacturing program.

Hoosier educators teaching dual credit courses are getting additional time to comply with more stringent credentialing requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Higher Learning Commission, the central U.S. accrediting agency that oversees high school courses awarding college credit, has extended the deadline for teachers of dual credit courses to meet the instructor requirements first issued by HLC in 2015.

As a result, dual credit educators now have until 2023 to satisfy the HLC mandate they hold a master's degree, with at least 18 credit hours in the subject they teach, as a condition of leading a dual credit course.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education requested the extension in May after COVID-19 shuttered all Indiana schools, forced Hoosier teachers to abandon their usual lesson plans, and made it more difficult for them to pursue their own advanced educations.

"This spring, Indiana’s dual credit educators shifted their focus to providing high-quality instruction online. This extension allows our educators and institutions more time to meet the requirements to ensure equitable dual credit opportunities provided by qualified instructors," said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana's higher education commissioner.

Since 2015, the commission has spent more than $10 million to help ensure the state's nearly 2,000 dual credit instructors, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math, remain qualified to teach courses that help Hoosier students earn college credits while still in high school.

Commission data show students who earn dual credits perform significantly better on many key indicators, including college-going rate, freshman grade point average, credit hours completed and college graduation rates.

"The quality of Indiana's dual credit instruction and outcomes have never been the question," Lubbers said. "This extension allows educators and dual credit instructors to continue to provide quality dual credit opportunities to students throughout Indiana, despite the hardships brought on by COVID-19."

How do NWI school reentry plans compare?

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