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But John still sits next to Jane in the same classroom, taking notes from the same instructor -- a teacher at their high school. When they complete the course work, Jane will get credit for U. John will get credit toward high school graduation only.
Is this the latest experiment in "learn at your own pace" education developed by a private academy? Partnerships between high schools and colleges that allow students to spend part of their school day on a college campus have been standard practice for more than 20 years.
But the so-called "embedded" dual credit class -- in which high school students get college credit for courses taught by their high school teachers the colleges prefer to call them "adjunct instructors" -- is a relatively new invention.
Legislators, did not, however, appropriate money for additional faculty or resources. A new breed of class that awards college credit but requires little investment -- either in money or instruction -- from colleges.
Embedded dual credit courses have proven a smart marketing tool for increasing enrollment in community colleges. ACC, however, still teaches the majority of its dual credit classes on its own campuses.
But for those who value the traditional college experience, this popular new initiative that supposedly promotes the "seamless K" system heralded by education reformers looks more like the creeping vine of academic mediocrity.
To the harsher critics, it even looks like a cruel joke being played on poor and minority students whose families may not make the same demands from colleges as their affluent, white counterparts.
Critics doubt whether a high school class -- in which some students are pursuing college credit and some not; in a setting prone to the usual high school distractions; where students are spared term papers and other requirements they would have to meet if they took the same course as college freshmen -- is genuine collegiate learning.
Some suggest that dual credit classes may in fact be an institutional form of the "soft bigotry" -- expecting less from those with fewer advantages -- that former Texas Gov. George Bush denounced to justify standardized testing.
Educational researchers, however, say that Texas, one of a handful of states where dual credit programs are being aggressively marketed, may be stuck with them. This session, the Lege required schools to automatically enroll high school freshmen in college-track curricula.
The board estimates that of a total of 35, high school students enrolled in dual credit classes last year, 11, attended "embedded" classes at their high schools.
Decrying what they say is a proliferation of watered-down courses, a handful of tenured professors have openly squared off against administrators in an effort to gain more control over curriculum and review. The population in its service area has grown older and poorer as more affluent families have settled in suburbs to the west across I, where the community college district has been chasing them with new campuses.
These days, the North Harris hallways are noticeably hushed. Whereas other colleges in the district offer numerous sections of history, government, and English on high school campuses, North Harris College has refused to approve a single embedded dual credit course.Submit High School and College Transcripts.
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Partnerships between high schools and colleges that allow students to spend part of their school day on a college campus have been standard practice for more than 20 years.
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