Monday, August 22, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

Today was the first day back for students .... and it only took a second for me to feel the energy and be ready for the year. This is the first year I am not teaching College Prep English to juniors - as I am now teaching our first dual-credit, or concurrent enrollment (CE), class offered in English. Seniors can now sign up to take Intro to College Composition and Intro to College Literature. They are required to take the Accu-Placer test to qualify for the college credit. And students are allowed to take the class even if they don't qualify for credit.

The CE model is long overdue, and I am excited to teach it. The class will enable students to receive credit at both the high school and a local community college at the same time. Thus, the model is similar to AP, but the students don't have to take the exam at the end of the year for credit. And, the credit is awarded automatically as long as the receive a C or better in the class. The credits must be accepted by any state university or college in Colorado, and should transfer to any schools which have reciprocity with Colorado.

Now, clearly these classes are not the rigor of my AP Language and Composition. But not many freshman comp classes in college meet the rigor of AP's curriculum. Thus, any student who can write well enough to earn credit at a state two-year or four-year college should be able to get the credit in high school. Overall, this approach is necessary and practical for the needs of many high school seniors.


Jordan Crawford said...

This idea of concurrent enrollment had been around in math for quite a while, I believe. I have Mr. Nutter this year for the same kind of class - just instead of English, calculus. From the student standpoint, it's actually significantly cheaper, (both per credit and by supply costs; we don't have to shell out $200 for the textbook, but it's still more expensive than AP) and it offers a huge range of opportunities. I agree with Mazenko that this model is long overdue, especially in the realm of English,and I hope and believe it can enjoy the same success there that it has in math.

mmazenko said...

Thanks, Jordan. As we know, some students are ready for college level work long before they complete the arduous and often arbitrary K-12 model of education.