College-credit classes on chopping block
By Suzanne Werre
Students have been able to get a jump-start to their college educations at the Underwood Public School for several years, earning college credits in Speech, College Algebra and Sociology.
This coming school year, college credits will no longer be available in two of those classes, Speech and Sociology, because, according to the Higher Learning Commission, the teacher is not adequately qualified to teach a course for which college credits are earned.
The Higher Learning Commission is the governing body of many colleges and universities across the west and Midwest, and to maintain their accreditation, schools must comply with the commission’s requirements.
About two years ago, the commission changed the requirements for students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously in classes they take while in high school, noted Underwood Supt. Brandt Dick. The schools have to begin compliance this fall.
The teachers of those classes must now have a master’s degree in the courses they are teaching in order for college credits to be earned. If that advanced degree isn’t in the subject they’re teaching, teachers must have earned 18 graduate credits in that subject.
“We can still offer the class, and they still get the high school credit portion for it – they just don’t get the college credit,” said Supt. Dick.