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Indiana Seeks Extension For New Dual Credit Teacher Requirements
Updated November 25, 2015 7:43 AM | Filed under: Education
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana will seek a deadline extension for new credentialing standards that would require most of the state's dual credit teachers to earn additional college credit.

The new requirements were issued by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accreditation organization designated by the federal government for Indiana and 18 other states.

"Hoosier students rely on our dual credit classes to challenge themselves academically and earn college credit while in high school at much lower cost than taking the same course in a traditional campus setting," said Governor Mike Pence. "I want to thank Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers and many others for making Indiana's strong case to the members of the Higher Learning Commission. This extension would give the state more time to ensure our teachers have the support and credentials they need to keep teaching these important classes to Hoosier students."

Originally slated to take effect in 2017, an extension could provide as much as five additional years for Indiana high school teachers to earn the credits they need to continue teaching dual credit courses. The HLC's new guidelines require anyone teaching college-level courses--including high school dual credit teachers--to hold a master's degree with at least 18 credit hours in the subject area they teach. Currently, under state policy, Indiana's dual credit teachers must have the same credentials as college instructors or be approved by the college that awards students credit.

Following feedback from leaders in Indiana and other states, the HLC voted during its November meeting to allow states to seek an extension of up to five years to prepare for the new requirements. The application for the extension must be filed by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education in coordination with Indiana's colleges by September 2016.

"We are encouraged by this opportunity to apply for an extension to meet these new requirements for dual credit teachers," Commissioner Lubbers said. "That said, this in no way means our work is done. As a state, we remain focused on expanding quality dual credit options for all students."

Today, the Dual Credit Advisory Council, Co-Chaired by Superintendent Ritz and Commissioner Lubbers, met to discuss potential solutions to be implemented at colleges, K-12 schools and at the state level to ensure Hoosier teachers have the support and credentials required to teach dual credit classes by the time the new requirements take effect.

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