State Journal

College-Credit Plan for High-Schoolers a Hot Iowa Debate

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Dual-enrollment programs are no longer unusual. The U.S. Department of Education says that more than half of all colleges enroll high school students in courses for college credit. What is unusual is the kind of pushback a proposed expansion of dual enrollment in Iowa has provoked.

To many, Gov. Chet Culver’s “Senior Year Plus” proposal to let dual-enrollment students take up to 30 hours of college credit might have seemed an uncontroversial way to give them a free head start in college.

But the bill, introduced last February at the behest of the Democratic governor, rankled some members of the higher education community, including Lee Skeens, a psychology professor at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa.

See Also
See other stories on education issues in Iowa. See data on Iowa's public school system.

“We’re already getting students who are … not academically prepared for college courses,” said Mr. Skeens, who also chairs a higher education committee in the National Education Association-affiliated Iowa State Education Association. “If we start reaching down for more students, I don’t see that as a good thing.”

The association hasn’t taken a formal position, he said, but he and about 50 other representatives from higher education groups, including the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, met with legislators on dual enrollment and other topics in March.

Democratic state Rep. Cindy Winckler, the bill’s floor manager and a former teacher, said lawmakers amended the legislation after hearing concerns about training gaps among some high school teachers who were leading college courses.

“Fifty to 70 percent of those [dual-enrollment] courses are taught by a high school teacher that is then hired in their own building to teach a college-equivalent course,” she said.

The bill, which has also been introduced in the Iowa Senate, now calls for students to meet colleges’ normal enrollment requirements and to show proficiency on state achievement tests or alternative assessments.

Further, it provides for a committee of postsecondary and other educators to conduct random audits of classes to ensure they’re up to college standards.

Vol. 27, Issue 32, Page 17

Published in Print: April 9, 2008, as College-Credit Plan for High-Schoolers a Hot Iowa Debate
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >