College & Workforce Readiness

Q&A: A President’s View on Pre-College Credit

By Caralee J. Adams — December 09, 2014 3 min read
Miami University President David C. Hodge in his office at the university’s Oxford, Ohio, campus, where policies for granting AP credit have become more uniform.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In Ohio, a 2007 law required the state board of regents to develop a consistent policy for awarding Advanced Placement credit by 2009. Now, all public institutions in the state must grant credit toward a degree for an AP exam score of 3 or higher. Research in Ohio has shown that students persist in subsequent courses after getting credit for an AP score of at least 3 out of a possible 5.

Contributing Writer Caralee J. Adams spoke about the policy changes with David C. Hodge, the president of Miami University, of Oxford, Ohio. Since 2006, he has been at the helm of the 16,000-student public university. More than half of this year’s incoming freshman class received credit through dual-enrollment, AP, or International Baccalaureate programs.

How does your university view the value of taking college-level courses in high school, such as AP, IB, and dual enrollment?

We have a very positive attitude about that. … In our recruiting, we seek academically ambitious students. So we, generally speaking, are very, very supportive of the notion that students have these opportunities in high school. They are very useful to set them up for success.

What was your policy toward AP credit before the law passed?

It varied department by department. … There was credit for 5s, 4s, and 3s, placement versus not. … All things being equal, we would prefer a 4, but a 3 has not proven to be difficult, except in certain areas.

The average Miami University student enters with 17 credits from accelerated work in high school. How has that changed since the new mandate went into effect?

The numbers have been going up. The reason, you can argue, is that there is more availability of all these options. Plus, Miami has become more selective over that period of time, so you are seeing … that we are more likely to get students who are taking [accelerated work].

And are they more likely to graduate earlier then?

For students who come in with AP credits, or any credit, the four-year graduation rate is 75 percent. For those who don’t, it is 63 percent. … The kind of students we attract are taking double majors or adding a minor. … The students are not necessarily trying to finish faster than four years, but they are trying to finish in four years with a lot more stuff.

How important is it for students to receive the full four-year college experience?

We are an institution that’s built to maximize the four-year experience. We have no problem if a student is done and they are ready to go on—let’s go. What we are trying do is not just look at: Are they ready for their first job or can they get into graduate school or professional school? We are conscious of trying to say: Build a foundation for people who are going to have superior careers and superior lives. This is about the intensity of the experience to create that kind of a graduate.

There are those who would say the reluctance to get through quicker is a way to protect the revenues coming into the university. Is that part of it? Do you want the four years of tuition as well?

Well, it doesn’t hurt. To be honest with you, no, that’s not really what we are about. We have an overarching goal in our strategic plan to promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes. … Every day, we ask the question: How can we be a better institution? How can we produce graduates who are better prepared for a lifetime?

Was there pushback when you changed your AP policy?

There was a little pushback at the beginning, but it disappeared quickly because actually [the policy change] didn’t have that much impact.

So is the bottom line that faculty in Ohio feel that what is being taught in the high school as “college-level” courses are the same quality as what is taught on your campus?

We are proud enough to think that the courses we offer here—because of the whole environment—they are going to be be more challenging. I would also say that the courses we are seeing as the students come out of high school and through AP are more than adequate.

Special coverage on the alignment between K-12 schools and postsecondary education is supported in part by a grant from the Lumina Foundation, at www.luminafoundation.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.
A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as Q&A: An Ivory Tower View on Precollege Credit

Events

Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness What the Pool of College Applicants Looked Like After Affirmative Action Ban
Questions remain for future research on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on race-based admissions.
4 min read
Students toss their caps into the air during the Morgantown High School graduation in Morgantown, W. Va., on May, 25, 2024.
Students toss their caps into the air during the Morgantown High School graduation in Morgantown, W. Va., on May 25. There is new data analysis of 6 million U.S.-based college applicants over five years to more than 800 institutions.
William Wotring/The Dominion-Post via AP
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says The State of Career and Technical Education, in Charts
New federal data shows more than 8 in 10 high school graduates completed at least one course in a career-education field in 2019.
2 min read
Young girl working on an electrical panel in a classroom setting.
iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can Mastery-Based Learning Replace Seat Time?
Developing better assessments and getting buy-in from practitioners will be key to replacing seat time as a proxy for mastery.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Are Real-World Problem-Solving Skills Essential for Students?
Ensuring students' career readiness is a top priority for districts.
2 min read
Photograph of culturally diverse students and Black female teacher discussing mathematics problem at a whiteboard
E+