2004 January 19 Monday
Arizona Allows High School Students To Take College Classes
Arizona lets kids take courses for college credit while in high school.
Most high schools in the Valley offer dual enrollment, but the kinds of classes offered differ at each campus. More than 11,500 high school students in Maricopa County are dual-enrolled through one of the 10 community colleges, with most earning 12 to 15 college credits.
Lucia Rodriquez, a senior at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, said she will have a full year of college credit when she attends the University of Arizona next fall.
Last year, dual enrollment was one of the programs Gov. Janet Napolitano suggested eliminating in the early rounds of budget talks. Despite an estimated savings for the state of $4 million, the program survived.
These courses are offered in the high schools. The kids don't have to have cars to get to the community colleges.
I think this is a great idea that more states should copy. Governor Napolitano's attempt to cut the program is short-sighted. The kids in the program will spend fewer years enrolled at state colleges and universities once they graduate and so this will save the taxpayers that way. Plus, the sooner the kids get out of college the sooner they will start working and start paying taxes. See my previous post Accelerate Education To Increase Tax Revenue, Reduce Costs for more on this idea.
Another idea I'd like to see implemented is for college lectures to be filmed and offered for viewing by high school students. Then the students should be offered the ability to sit for tests to pass college courses and get credit toward college degrees.
Thanks to Mike Trier for sending the reference to this article.
Let's not forget the money Arizona will save when more students consider an out-of-state college education. After all, if a student can cut out a quarter of the cost of tuition at their college of choice, it might bring the out-of-state college into their price range.
I don't think it would take many students per year to make a 4 million dollar difference.
Thanks for putting the article to such good use. You might want to take a look at the distance learning programs like Rio Salado College. They are doing a lot of innovative things at a very much lower cost per Full Time Student Equivalent. Hybrid programs combining on-line participation with a reduced number of traditional classes may also help reduce college costs. Best wishes, Mike.
Here I am in Arizona and I wasn't even aware of this.
I agree we should cut down on education time. In fact, I think a lot of college "educated" people have mostly had remedial courses that decades ago they would have finished in high school, and a bunch of fun but economically useless courses in the disaster that humanities have become.
College in the US today has become a gigantic protection racket. Don't get the degree (never mind that it is in Drama or "general studies" or Literature and thus useless in the economic world) and you don't get a job, or are put automatically into a lower classification. And the colleges are charging a fortune for these pathetic educations, with tuition rate increases greatly exceeding the rate of inflation.
BTW... Also in Arizona is the University of Phoenix, a private university that is completely online and has a huge enrollment.
Complementary to this theme (what college education means to society-at-large, especially in the economic sense) is the state of the Academy itself. Erin O'Connor posts her consistently interesting opinions on her web-log "Critical Mass." She casts a very skeptical eye towards her own chosen career (she's a professor of literature at U. Penn), and towards the dominant paradigm in the humanities. "Dominant paradigm" being two big words, easily replaced by a pair of smaller ones--Bad Ideas.
The web-log "Invisible Adjunct" covers some of the same ground, from a leftier perspective. The University of Phoenix mentioned by John Moore, above, is a harbinger of many of the changes roiling academe, especially in the sense of what the honorific "Professor" means in practice. An Associate Prof. at Ivy League U. has an upper-middle-class salary and freedoms and job security to an extent that is now unusual outside of the education establishment. Adjunct Profs. at Ivy League U. have none of those things, nor does the teaching staff at U. of Phoenix.
Are these ongoing changes Good Things or Bad Things? It depends, obviously, on your point of view. Thanks Randall, Mike Trier, and John Moore for interesting thoughts on the subject.