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Project Title:Expanded Dual Credit to Address Community NeedsInstitution Name:Northern Kentucky University Innovation Category:Research and Regional Stewardship Project Director:Victoria Berling, Executive Director, Educational Outreach and Interim Director of the Norse Advising Center at NKUContact Information:(859) 392-2401, berlingv1@nku.eduWebsite:http://adultlearner.nku.edu/programs/schoolbasedscholars.html
Project Description:

NKU dramatically expanded its dual-credit program to meet K-12 needs.

  • Tuition per class was reduced to $225, a savings of $786/class for school partners.
  • The number of classes available was increased, allowing high school students to complete up 25 credit hours.
  • Admission criteria were adjusted to allow more students to participate.
  • Scholarships were offered to enable high school teachers to meet credentialing requirements at the college level.
The impact of these changes was immediate. Fall 2103 enrollment grew 10% over fall 2012 and is projected to grow by 25% over fall 2012 by fall 2014.
  • Expand opportunities for high school students to earn dual credit, as evaluated by increases in headcount enrollment.
  • Increase the number of total courses offered with high schools, as evaluated by total courses offered.
  • Expose high school students to the rigors and opportunities of college, as evaluated by course completions, grade point averages, and number of times students are exposed to the campus and its students. 

  • Enrollment grew by 10% in the first fall semester and is projected to grow by 25% by the second fall.
  • Total sections offered for high schools grew by 11.7% in the first fall semester and is projected to grow by 34% by the second fall.
  • 98% of all dual-credit students completed their courses with 94% receiving a final grade of “A” or “B.”
  • Students were invited to participate in several campus events over the year, including the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, with more than 300 high school students attending the event.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:Challenges included both tangible issues such as differences in school calendars and schedules, and intangible issues such as differences in culture regarding the role of faculty. Both types of issues have been addressed through ongoing communication. A special task team has been formed to ensure that the needs of both partners (the university and the school districts) are being heard and addressed. Ongoing dissemination of the program’s results on an annual basis has also served to increase the level of collaboration between the partnering institutions.
Evaluation Approach:The university has taken the lead role in assessing and publishing outcomes. An annual overview of results that shows enrollments, grade distributions and course offerings is developed; further, each participating school district receives an individual report, outlining the performance of their students as compared to all students in the program. The task force also serves as an evaluative board, providing ongoing feedback and encouraging continued innovation.
Potential for Replication:This project can be replicated. The genesis was a dialogue between NKU President Geoffrey Mearns and the members of the Northern Kentucky Superintendents Association. The feedback from this meeting led to the formation of the task team, which facilitated the changes and outcomes previously described.
Additional Resources:The required resources have been largely personnel, involving both administrative staff and faculty. Minimal use of marketing and promotional materials has been required due to the popularity of the program.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Geoff Mearns , Presidentmearns@nku.edu
(859) 572-5123
Date Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014