CHICAGO — Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Glenda Ritz, superintendent of public instruction, testified today before the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation organization. Their testimony expressed concerns about proposed guidelines for teachers of dual credit classes in Indiana’s high schools. These concerns were also expressed in the attached letter to HLC co-signed by the Lt. Governor, the superintendent, Teresa Lubbers, commissioner of higher education and Sarah O’Brien, vice-chair of the state board of education. Dual credit classes taken in high school earn college credits for those students.
Lt. Governor Ellspermann emphasized that dual credit classes were important to the state’s workforce development efforts. She noted, “Dual credit courses are critical to achieving Indiana’s goal of 60 percent of our workforce having postsecondary degrees or certifications by 2025. We are concerned about any requirements that would limit our abilities to provide dual credit classes to all Hoosier high school students given the successful results of those dual credit courses with our current teacher requirements. HLC’s own report ranked Indiana second highest in the nation with respect to the factors that promote quality dual credit courses.”
Superintendent Ritz noted that Indiana schools now offer more than 3,400 dual credits classes taught by 2,908 teachers. In Indiana, each school corporation must offer a minimum of two dual credit courses for their students, however some corporations offer as many as 63 unique courses in one building. She explained that, according to the HLC’s own research on dual credit courses, Indiana already has very strong “quality provision configurations.”
Superintendent Ritz added, “Indiana’s educators are among the best in the nation, and the high-quality instruction that they deliver to our students every day produces excellent results for Hoosier families. Our dual credit teachers are no exception. The addition of these burdensome requirements for dual credit teachers will needlessly limit access to quality, college level coursework for Hoosier students.”