Bill would help train teachers for concurrent enrollment courses

A bill discussed by the E-12 Education Committee this week would provide funds to help Minnesota teachers met requirements to provide concurrent enrollment courses to high school students.

Concurrent enrollment courses are college courses offered at the high school, usually taught by a trained high school teacher. These are offered in partnership with a college or university. Students who successfully complete these courses generate both high school and college credit from the partnering postsecondary institution. According to committee comments, in School District 196 last year, students earned 6,000 dual enrollment credits valued at $3.1 million.

Minnesota spends $4 million annually to pay for district costs to cover the programs. The funding amount does not cover the total cost to districts.

High school teachers are trained to provide high quality educational programs to students in concurrent enrollment programs. By 2022, teachers are required by the Higher Learning Council to have a minimum of 18 graduate credits in the field related to the course they would be teaching for college credit. Three million dollars was funded in 2016 to help defray the costs of the additional training; that money has been spent, and there remains about 6,000 credits necessary for teachers to meet the HLC requirements.

An amendment discussed during the E-12 Committee this week would transfer $1 million from the $4 million annual funding for programs. Neither the bill nor the amendment passed the committee. (SF 4257)