Starting in fall 2013, more high school students will earn high school and University of Wisconsin credit at the same time as part of a statewide initiative to provide earlier access to college classes and reduce the cost of a college degree.
The new dual-enrollment program stems from an agreement signed Tuesday by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers and UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross at UW-Marathon County in Wausau. The agreement allows high school students - mostly juniors or seniors - to earn UW credit that can easily be transferred to state four-year universities or two-year colleges after graduation, along with many private colleges.
The classes would be taught online and in participating high schools by high school teachers with master's degrees. The teachers would receive training, help and oversight from UW professors, marking a shift toward greater cooperation between the state's K-12 and higher education systems.
Offering college classes at high schools allows school districts to keep state funding for those students. If they took classes on college campuses, the students no longer would be considered full-time high school students for state funding purposes. At the same time, the initiative will reduce the cost of earning college degrees if students can earn a semester or two of college credits before graduating from high school.