SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / January 2006 / Dual Credit Opportunities Expand
Dual Credit Opportunities Expand
This year the Professional Technical Education (PTE) Department has begun to take a more active role in exploring and expanding dual credit opportunities in regional high schools. Dual credit refers to courses for which students earn both high school and college credit simultaneously.
For a number of years PTE courses and programs have been articulated or aligned with community college courses and programs so students may earn “2+2” or “Tech Prep” credit. Articulation with community colleges is a requirement for PTE programs (sometimes also called Career and Technical Education or CTE). Most of the PTE programs in the SOESD region have articulations with Rogue or Klamath Community Colleges. A few have articulations with other community colleges in Oregon such as Blue Mountain or Lane.
The “2+2 Tech Prep” model is based on the idea that students are able to complete a technical education program in two years of high school plus two years of community college. However, in Oregon, all the public four-year colleges and universities also accept 2+2 courses as elective credits, and many schools outside the state also accept the credits as electives.
Another type of dual credit familiar to most high school staff and students is Advanced Placement or “AP.” In the Advanced Placement model, the student takes a high school course that is college-level work and then takes the AP test for the subject offered by the College Board, the same organization that offers the SAT. A student who obtains a high enough score on the AP test is awarded college credit at many colleges and universities. The College Board charges a fee for each AP test the student takes.
A great opportunity not so familiar to many students, parents, and teachers is Advanced Southern Credit (ASC), offered by Southern Oregon University at several high schools in Jackson and Josephine Counties. Like AP courses, these are also college-level courses taught at the high schools. Students who pay a registration fee to SOU and earn an A or B in the courses receive credit at SOU. The fee is considerably less than the student would pay if actually enrolled at the university, because high school faculty members teach the courses. Often the very same high school courses can be used for either AP or ASC credit, and students tend to use “AP” as the generic term.
Jackson County students have another opportunity to take SOU courses on a space available basis, called “Early Entry.” If college students do not fill up all the seats in a regular SOU campus course, high school students aged 16 and over may enroll in the course at a savings in tuition. These courses usually count as electives toward high school graduation as well as earn college credit.
Students choose to take dual credit courses for a number of reasons:
- To find out what college work is like;
- To get a head start on college in order to graduate sooner
- To save money: Currently 2+2 courses through Rogue are only $10 each and two semesters of an SOU ASC course such as English literature is about $85, much less than the tuition college students pay;
- To obtain advanced standing in college; traditionally, students who already have course credit get perks such as early registration;
- To be able to list college courses and credits on a resume or scholarship or job application.
To find more specifics about courses offered for dual credit at local high schools, visit the following web sites:
Rogue Community College High School Programs: http://www.roguecc.edu/HSOutreach/
Southern Oregon University High School Programs: http://www.sou.edu/ecp/highschool/
College Board AP courses: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html
Or contact Martha Murphy, Career Education Specialist, Southern Oregon ESD