Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It Might Be Getting Easier for Kentucky High Schoolers to Earn College Credit

Highlands High School offers both AP and dual-credit courses/FTM file

Kentucky lawmakers are considering a plan that would make it easier for Kentucky students to earn college credit while in high school.

The Lexington Herald-Leader has reported that the General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Education heard recommendations on Monday for a new policy that would improve the state's dual-credit system.

The term "dual-credit" refers to when a student earns college credit for completing a course taken at the high school level, and offers an alternative to Advanced Placement (AP) testing, also a common way high school students can earn college credit.

Fort Thomas Superintendent Gene Kirchner says that approximately two-thirds of Highlands students graduate having earned some college credit. "In some cases, our graduates may have earned enough credits to be considered sophomores when entering college," Kirchner told FTM.

Highlands currently partners with Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, and Western Kentucky University to offer dual-credit courses. The vast majority of students earning college credit at Highlands, though, do so through AP coursework and testing, Kirchner added.

This is the case across the state, according to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who told the Herald-Leader that students don't have equal access to dual-credit, due to costs often associated with transferring credits earned in high school to the students' ultimate college or university of choice.

The proposed policy would reportedly equalize this access by guaranteeing the transferability of credits earned among postsecondary institutions, as well as ensuring the affordability of dual-credit courses.

The new policy would also put measures in place to ensure quality and rigor of dual-credit courses offered state-wide.

Here in Fort Thomas, Kirchner says the district intentionally offers dual-credit alongside AP courses. "We are very pleased to offer both these options," he said. "Our students are definitely better prepared for college and the real-world as a result."

Do you have a student at Highlands taking a dual-credit course? Tell us about their experience in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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