A joint hearing on the recent changes to concurrent enrollment accessibility has been set for Oct. 8 in Minnesota. The Higher Learning Commission accepted the invitation from Minnesota’s Higher Education Committee Chairs Rep. Bud Nornes and Sen. Terri Bonoff. to come to Minnesota and explain the rule and their rationale. This Joint Meeting of the Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development and the House Committee on Higher Education Policy and Finance will begin at 1 pm.
MREA is organizing testimony from Greater Minnesota and would like your help in two or three ways:
- Testify in person: If you are interested in testifying in person, please contact Fred Nolan, MREA Executive Director.
- Write a letter: Equally important is to flood the committee with letters of protest with data on the positive effects of the current dual credit courses in your schools, and the negative ramifications for your school and students.
- Get letters from graduates: Letters from graduates who made effective use of these credits in their lives will be especially powerful. Get more details below.
Depending upon how long your school has had concurrent enrollment, we are talking about letters from alumni ages 22-40 approximately who have experienced any of the following:
- Finished college in less than four years and entered their profession or med school, etc earlier than usual
- Gone to college when they otherwise wouldn’t have—first generation college students in their families
- Been able to participate in sports or completed double majors in 4 years
- Graduated with manageable student debt
- Other benefits that they identify now looking a back at their HS experience and taking dual credit courses in a rural HS
As rural schools, you are best placed in tight knit communities to track down alumni in this short window to raise their voices with their personal experience on behalf of current and future students in their communities and across Minnesota.
The voices raised by a variety of leaders and organizations have played an critical role in making this hearing possible. Here’s a look at some of the key steps being taken:
Multiple school boards are submitting resolutions to MSBA’s delegate assembly to share their support of reconsidering the changes.
Sen. Al Franken has written a letter to the Higher Learning Commission in which he urges the Higher Learning Commission to “reconsider this proposed rule and suggest that the HLC continue to approve the use of alternative, holistic qualifications for academic faculty and not go ahead with the proposed rule at this time.”
The Deputy Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (the organization of states’ commissioners of education) issued a formal statement which reads in part: “…we will work with our state members to urge the Higher Learning Commission to reconsider its new requirements that will negatively affect high school teachers who teach dual-credit courses.”
Read a personal perspective on how concurrent enrollment has worked in Minnesota.