MSBA executive director leads discussion on concurrent enrollment credentialing at P-20 meeting

MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind and Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) Executive Director Gary Amoroso requested the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership discuss the impact of a recent Higher Learning Commission (HLC) decision to enforce credentialing requirements for concurrent enrollment instructors during a committee meeting, which was held Friday, December 18, at the University of Minnesota.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Chancellor Steven Rosenstone started the conversation by reviewing recently released proposals that MnSCU will take to help create a clearer path for school districts and their concurrent enrollment instructors.

  1. A credentialing audit will be completed of all faculty including all of those teaching concurrent enrollment courses. The intent of the audit is to establish the scope and areas of credentialing need. This information will then be used to inform our development of credentialing option across the state. More information will be forthcoming on this process. Participation and cooperation with the audit will help begin the program-development process. Completion of the inventory would be done by the end of February.
  2. Discussion has already begun with universities for discipline-specific, graduate-level coursework delivered in ways that are sensitive to the needs of adults and working professionals (e.g. blended/hybrid, online, cohort models, weekends, etc.) and that are accessible statewide. MnSCU universities will work with the faculty members to explore additional avenues that may include credit for prior learning and master’s programs in education that include discipline-specific, graduate-level coursework and other creative solutions. MnSCU will also identify options for Career and Technical education concurrent enrollment instructors to meet faculty requirements specific to the industry field.
  3. In addition to creating pathways to meet faculty qualifications, MnSCU will look more closely at how tested experience can be appropriately and consistently applied. On the basis of those discussions, MnSCU will develop system policies and procedures outlining the criteria and process for determining faculty qualifications on the basis of tested experience.
  4. MnSCU will be collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Education, the governor’s office and the state Legislature to identify resources needed to support concurrent enrollment instructors and concurrent enrollment programs.
  5. Next, Chancellor Rosenstone indicated that MnSCU would respond as a whole system and request the HLC provide an additional five-year waiver from the rule. If granted, the rule would take effect in 2022. Then a higher education institution would need a HLC review in which the concurrent enrollment teachers may be cited — and then an additional two years to correct the problem would be made available.

Both university and college leaders also stated strong support for legislative funding for all higher education needs as well as funding this concurrent enrollment requirement for K-12 teachers.

MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind led the discussion on K-12 issues by sharing his appreciation for MnSCU’s recent work on solutions as MSBA had mentioned in their testimony at the joint House and Senate Education committee meeting this fall. Most importantly, Schneidawind suggested that our public school districts and high school leadership need to be part of the solution.

Schneidawind reminded the committee that school board members and school administrators need more clarity on this issue — in order to make future decisions on what courses are offered and what staffing levels are needed in their high schools. Schneidawind also suggested that experience in teaching college-level courses be strongly considered when the HLC evaluates higher education institutions and concurrent enrollment teacher credentials. Finally, Schneidawind suggested developing regional-based work groups to help school districts partner with MnSCU institutions to develop pathways for instructors who teach concurrent enrollment courses.

Click play on the media player below to hear Schneidawind’s remarks.

MSBA will be leading a session on the impact of HLC’s decision and recent MnSCU developments at the MSBA Leadership Conference on January 14-15, 2016.

The P-20 committee also discussed a new law which sets a goal for postsecondary attainment for Minnesota residents. The goal of the new requirement is to have 70 percent of the population ages 25-44 to attain a postsecondary degree or certificate across all races and ethnic groups. A yearly report on higher education progress will be made to House and Senate Higher Education committees starting in 2016.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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