(Press Release) Wausau, Wis. – High school students throughout central Wisconsin and the state will be able to earn University of Wisconsin credits while still in high school under a new dual enrollment partnership announced today by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the University of Wisconsin Colleges.
Tony Evers, state superintendent of public instruction, and Ray Cross, chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension, today signed an agreement and announced the new statewide model for dually enrolling high school students in high school and UW Colleges courses. They spoke at a ceremony at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County (UWMC), one of the UW Colleges campuses in Wausau. UW Colleges is the UW System’s network of 13 freshman - sophomore campuses and UW Colleges Online.
Evers and Cross said the new partnership would allow students across Wisconsin to access UW Colleges courses in their high schools via classroom teachers and online. The new dual enrollment program would accelerate students’ ability to earn UW credits, reduce the cost of obtaining a college degree, and increase the readiness of high school graduates for either college or the workplace. The program should be in place no later than the 2013-14 school year.
“We’re trying to better serve high school students by bringing our University of Wisconsin courses right into their high schools in a cost-effective way,” said Cross. “We’re committed to making these UW credits as affordable as possible for high school students, their families, and the school districts.”
“More students need the opportunity to take advanced courses and earn high school and college credit simultaneously,” Evers said. “This statewide dual enrollment agreement is a great way for students to get an introduction to college coursework and earn credits before even enrolling in a school of higher education. This will increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for college and careers.”
Paul Martin, a UWMC math professor, also spoke at the signing ceremony. He said the dual partnership will be a boon to students from smaller communities. “This is a great opportunity for well-prepared high school students, especially those from rural districts where small numbers of students make it difficult to offer advanced coursework,” Martin explained. “That was the case for me 35 years ago when I ran out of math and physics courses in during my junior year. This partnership will make the last year of high school more productive for college-bound students.”
Dual enrollment courses will be taught by trained high school teachers who are approved to teach college-level courses by the appropriate UW Colleges academic department, with ongoing support and professional development from their high school and the UW Colleges. The courses will be focused on high school juniors and seniors, but will be open to younger students as well. There will also be an online option for students who cannot take desired classes in their high schools.
The new dual enrollment partnership will complement concurrent enrollment programs offered by UW Colleges, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay because it expands access to UW credits statewide. The new partnership differs from Wisconsin’s Youth Options program, which allows high school students to take courses at a University of Wisconsin campus, technical college or other institution of higher learning. Youth Options students must take classes at the college or university.
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