State Board approves dual credit fee increase

The State Board of Education has approved a $10 increase in the fees Idaho’s four-year colleges and universities charge for dual credit courses.

Under the move, the per credit hour fee charged by those institutions will increase from $65 to $75.

The change likely won’t affect Idaho students and families much. As before, the state will provide $4,125 through its Fast Forward program to every Idaho student, so they can take dual-credit courses and earn college credit while still attending high school.

“The $65 per credit hour fee has never changed and has been in place for more than a decade,” outgoing State Board President Linda Clark said in a news release. “It costs more for the institutions to teach and administer these courses than it did a decade ago, and the board recognizes that.”

Two of Idaho’s community colleges have also increased the fee for dual-credit courses, while the other two community colleges are considering the increase, according to the State Board.

New State Board president

Debbie Critchfield

In other action, the State Board voted unanimously Thursday to elect Debbie Critchfield as president. Critchfield, who formerly held the post of vice president, succeeds Clark. Even though her term as president is ending, Clark will continue to serve on the State Board.

The State Board also elected David Hill as its new vice president and Andrew Scoggin as secretary.

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Former Gov. Butch Otter originally appointed Critchfield to the State Board in July 2014, before reappointing her to a new, five-year term in June 2018. Critchfield is a public information officer for the Cassia School District in Burley. She is also a former member of the Cassia School Board.

Earlier this month, Critchfield served briefly as a substitute legislator before the 2019 session adjourned April 11.

At the end of Thursday’s meeting in Moscow, State Board member Richard Westerberg paid tribute to Clark, who has served as president for the past two years.

“I personally want to thank Linda for her service as president of the State Board of Education for the last two years,” Westerberg said. “If you think about it, it’s been incredibly traumatic.”

Linda Clark

Westerberg credited Clark with helping the State Board navigate “a significant minefield,” as it has dealt with unprecedented leadership turnover in Idaho’s higher education system.

Last week, the State Board hired C. Scott Green as the new University of Idaho president. On Tuesday, the State Board is expected to name a new Boise State University president.

In April 2018, the State Board hired new presidents at Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College.

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