MREA identifies six key changes to draft of the Tested Experience Framework released for feedback in late May by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). Upon thorough review, MREA recommends the MnSCU Leadership Council table the draft and engage the K-12 community to develop a more comprehensive framework.
Upon sharing the draft in late May, MnSCU hosted webinars the following week and requested immediate feedback by May 27.
Tested Experience Defined
Tested Experience (TE) and Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) are two ways high school teachers can demonstrate experience in lieu of taking graduate course to attain part of the 18 credits beyond a Masters Degree to teach dual credits starting in 22-23.
According to the most recent HLC guidelines for credentialing dual credit teachers, “Tested experience may substitute for an earned credential or portions thereof…. This experience should be tested experience in that it includes a breadth and depth of experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching.”
While the HLC clearly states that Tested Experience “may substitute for an earned credential…,” MnSCU states that “In cases of exception, if a concurrent enrollment instructor has subject-matter expertise that represents a depth and breadth of graduate-level knowledge in the field, he/she may be able to qualify for tested experience.” (underlining added).
Some of MnSCU’s proposed policies on tested experience seem to go beyond what the Higher Learning Commission is requiring. MREA strongly recommends that MnSCU make the following additions and changes to the Framework:
- Create a more welcoming tone for high school teachers
- Address the applicability of previously earned graduate credits
- Add an ‘Other’ category to the list of types of Tested Experience, and include high school teachers within disciplines to provide examples of ‘Other’ experience
- Add review and appeal processes
- Provide guidance for teachers choosing between Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) and Tested Experience as routes to dual credit credentialing
This is an extensive list of recommendations requiring thoughtful discussion and decisions. MREA recommends that the MnSCU’s Leadership Council table the draft at its June meeting and appoint a combined Leadership Council and Work Group delegation to work on this over the summer. This delegation should include representatives of high schools and business and community groups to address these issues and set up sub-groups to develop specific language.
The Leadership Council then in the fall could consider for action a more comprehensive, collaboratively developed Dual Credentialing Framework.
Worth the Wait
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and the Minnesota Department of Education have produced research showing dramatic differences between students who have participated in at least one concurrent enrollment/College in the Schools course. As of 2012-13, the statistics showed:
- 58% of African Americans graduated from high school in four years, but 88% of African Americans who took 1 or more PSEO or concurrent enrollment course graduated in four years.
- 49% of American Indian students graduated in four years, but 88% of American Indian dual-credit participants graduated in four years.
- 78% of Asian Americans graduated in four years, compared to 96% of those who participated in these dual credit programs.
- 59% of Hispanic students graduated in four yeas, compared to 93% of CE/PSEO participants.
- 64% of economically disadvantaged students graduated in four years, compared to 93% of CE/PSEO participants.
- 85% of white students graduated in four years, compared to 98% of CE/PSEO participants.
Expanding and refining concurrent enrollment courses can increase Minnesota high school and MnSCU graduation rates. However, a number of Minnesota K-12 leaders believe that significant price increases will make offering these courses more difficult. MnSCU letter_Tested Experience.