Connecting the campus to the community
Apr. 10, 2017
Benefits of Dual Credit Courses to High School Students
Providing dual credit courses to high school students is a proven best practice for college success, both nationally and in Montana. In academic year 2015-16, nearly 3% of Montana high school students (2,775) took advantage of dual credit opportunities (https://mus.edu/data/dataindex.asp). Nationally, approximately 10% of high school students participate in these types of classes (http://www.nacep.org/research-policy/fast-facts/). Although Montana currently ranks below the national average in enrolling dual credit opportunities, the number of students is rapidly rising, with a 64% increase between 2012 and 2016 (https://mus.edu/data/dataindex.asp).
The benefits of taking dual credit courses for Montana students are clear: students earning both high school and college credits simultaneously are more likely to enroll in college and perform significantly better than their peers without these classes, with higher first year retention rates, higher GPAs, and more credits earned in the first college year. As the demand for additional dual credit courses increases, so does the need for qualified high school teachers.
High School Connections at MSUB
MSU Billings and City College currently offer a number of dual credit courses for high school students. High School Connections is a pilot program to give high school students the opportunity to earn high school and college credits simultaneously — the same class earns credits for both. The high school dual credit (also called dual enrollment) program at MSU Billings and City College is part of a statewide initiative to increase the number of students pursuing education after high school by smoothing the transition between high school and college education and to help reduce debt. High school dual credit is an opportunity for high school students to complete a college class within their high school schedule, with a familiar teacher and in a familiar classroom. A number of different programs are currently offered through Billings high schools. Check out the programs and learn more at http://www.msubillings.edu/connections/.
MSUB to Help High School Educators Qualify to Teach Dual Credit Courses
MSU Billings will provide three different 9-credit graduate certificate courses this summer in Art, English, and Political Science. High school educators with a Master’s degree can apply to attend. Courses are easily attainable during the 2017 summer months and are hybrid (one week is face-to-face at the University campus and all other work is done online). Thanks to a Title IIA grant, tuition for these courses are either no pay or partial pay (at a greatly reduced rate). High school educators with a Master’s degree from schools that participated in the Title IIA grant, will be given priority. Then educators with Master’s degrees in the Eastern part of Montana will have preference. To learn more about these offerings, which schools participated in the Title IIA grant, associated costs, and more information about each of the three courses, visit http://www.msubillings.edu/extendedcampus/DualCredit.htm. Applications are being accepted through May 1, 2017.