Board of Regents Approves Transfer Process for Dual Credit Courses
PIERREThe South Dakota Board of Regents modified its dual credit policy to allow for transfer of credit for certain college courses taught in high schools. Today at its regular business meeting in Pierre the Board of Regents revised its policy for the acceptance of high school courses for which students can receive college credit. By todays action, the Regents agree to award transfer credit when the high school student enrolls in a state university if the college credit is granted by a university with which the Board has a dual credit agreement.
"This policy change recognizes that there are a number of fine dual credit programs operated by colleges and universities in South Dakota," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, Aberdeen. "About a year ago, the Regents became aware that some area postsecondary education institutions were transcripting courses as college level, even though the courses taught did not provide the content of a college course. Often the class would have some students taking the class for high school credit and some students, who had paid the tuition, doing the same work for college credit. We found that when these students enrolled at a state university they often did not possess the knowledge that a real college level course would have given them. Since the Regents considered this a form of fraud, last year we promulgated a policy that we would award credit only if the credit was validated by an Advanced Placement or CLEP exam."
That policy, to go into effect after Spring 2002, caused some concern among high schools and the colleges or universities who sponsored the dual credit programs. "Some of the high schools objected to the requirement of an exam to validate the learning. After visiting with representatives from some of these higher education institutions, the Regents decided that there may be other ways to verify that the courses did actually teach college level material," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.
With the policy change, any college or university may review its dual credit program with the Executive Director. If the instructor qualifications, course materials, and examinations meet the expectations of the Regents, the Board will enter into an agreement with that institution. Credit for courses offered under the agreement will be accepted for transfer.
"The Regents strongly urge ambitious high school students to get a jump start on their college careers," said Perry. "There are essentially three ways to do that. They can take Advanced Placement courses from high school teachers and then take the AP exam in the spring. All Regental universities accept AP credit if the score is high enough. Students can also take CLEP exams in the fall when they enroll as freshmen. This is commonly known as "testing out" of a course. They can also successfully complete dual credit courses. These are courses that will meet the requirements for high school graduation and also for college entry level content. All of these options will save students time and money toward earning their degrees."
High school and college administrators interested in reaching agreements with the Regents on dual credit courses should contact Dr. Lesta Turchen, Senior Administrator, (605) 773-3455.
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