Learn about an issue that is affecting local schools.

The world of education is constantly changing. Many people don’t realize this, but many high school students can head to college as Sophomores, thanks to the dual credit (earning both high school and college credit simultaneously) options at local schools. Thanks to a recent Department of Elementary and Secondary Education mandate taking effect, schools are being forced to adjust this valuable service.

The change for high schools offering dual credit means that teachers must be collegiately-certified to teach classes. This can be difficult for rural schools, as teachers at this level often don’t want to work in smaller districts.

“It is going to make it more difficult, ultimately, to offer dual credit courses to our high school students,” said Brookfield R-3 Superintendent Dr. Kyle Collins. “The Coordinating Board for Higher Education have put in place more stringent requirements as to who is able to teach a dual credit class.”

The good news for local schools, students, and parents, however, is that DESE has given them time to get teachers certified in their respective areas. This allows for the dual credit offerings locally to remain the same, for now.

“The colleges have given schools a four year extension to allow teachers time to get certified with the new requirements,” said Marceline High School Principal Matt Finch. “We will still be able to offer the dual credit classes without any concerns for a couple more years. During that time some of our teachers will be working to get the required 18 units of credit in the specific content area.”

Collins noted that the rural schools association, as well as the principal and superintendent’s organizations have been working with the state toward getting the credits mentioned above for teachers.  

“The advantages are that the classes taken at the high school level are less expensive and allow the student to, in many cases, get a lot of their general education classes completed at a significantly reduced cost,” said Collins. “Also, depending on the number of dual credit classes they take, they may be able to complete their college degree considerably earlier than they would be able to otherwise, saving both time and money.”

Finch echoed these statements, and pointed out that Marceline has working relationships with both Truman State University, and North Central Missouri College at Trenton. Collins noted that Brookfield is working with NCMC and Central Methodist University of Fayette.