Ward-Engelking urges tweaks to dual credit program

Idaho spends $12 million to encourage high school students to take college-level courses, and one legislator wants her colleagues to take a closer look at the program.

Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking is proposing two changes to Idaho’s growing dual-credit program. She wants the state to concentrate on offering dual-credit classes that support a student’s career choice, and she wants to ensure dual-credit classes transfer between the state’s two- and four-year colleges.

“Classes must be interchangeable, transferable and aligned so students can flow seamlessly between different institutions without penalty,” said Ward-Engelking, D-Boise. “Fixing that problem is a matter of curriculum coordination between our state’s two-year and four-year schools and won’t cost us any new money.”

Dual credit is among a host of programs Idaho has launched — and bankrolled — in hopes of encouraging more high school graduates to stay in school. Idaho’s college attendance and graduation rates remain among the lowest in the nation.

A 36-member gubernatorial task force is examining the state’s higher education system, and is charged with crafting a strategy to improve postsecondary graduation numbers. The group met Friday, and is expected to issue recommendations in September.

Ward-Engelking, a retired teacher, is a member of the higher education task force.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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