BATON ROUGE, La. – Several new and reappointed members of the Louisiana Board of Regents were sworn into office today in addition to the board approving the 2023 slate of officers, renaming Collis Temple III as Chair. Joining Chair Temple in leadership positions are:
Regent Gary Solomon, Jr., Vice Chair
Regent Robert Levy, Secretary
Two new board members took the oath of office, Christian Creed of Monroe representing the 5th Congressional District with a term to expire in 2028, as well as David Aubrey of St. Gabriel who will fill the unexpired term of Sonia Perez (At-Large) set to expire in 2024. Regents Blake David (3rd Congressional District), Wilbert Pryor (4th Congressional District), Jay Seale (1st Congressional District) and Terrie Sterling (At-Large) were also sworn into office today after their recent re-appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards, all with terms to expire in 2028.
Regent Creed is an attorney and owner of Creed & Creed law firm. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University and his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law. Regent Aubrey serves as Assistant Vice President at AT&T and received a Bachelor of Public Administration from Grambling State University.
The Board of Regents, a state agency created by the 1974 Louisiana Constitution, is a policy and advocacy board coordinating the activities of the state’s public higher education institutions. Its responsibilities include creating a statewide vision for educational attainment and talent development and adopting a funding formula to incentivize improved student outcomes. Members of Regents are gubernatorial appointees, chosen to serve six-year terms after receiving Senate confirmation. The sixteen-member, voluntary board includes two individuals from each Congressional District, as well as three members-at-large and a student member elected annually from the Council of Student Body Presidents.
In the first meeting of the new year, Regents learned that more high school students are earning college credit through dual enrollment despite disruptions from hurricanes and the pandemic according to the 2022 Dual Enrollment Annual Report. Dual enrollment participation (earning dual course credit in high school through college courses) at Louisiana public colleges and universities increased 11% during the past two years, with 28,875 students taking advantage of the opportunity during the 2021-22 school year. National studies show students who earn dual enrollment credits are more likely to enroll in, persist in, and complete college than their peers – making it a priority for education leaders across Louisiana seeking to improve the state’s overall attainment level.
“Seeing this increase in dual enrollment across the board and for our minority students, despite the significant disruptions we have faced, is a testament to the hard work of so many who continue to advocate for expanded opportunities for our students,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “We know education changes lives and leads to expanded prosperity for all Louisiana citizens. I am proud of the policies and practices we have adopted in this area, guided by our amazing Dual Enrollment Task Force and supported by our high schools and higher education institutions.”
In December 2019, Regents and Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) jointly set a goal for all high school freshmen, beginning with the entering class of 2025, to graduate with some college credit, a market-relevant credential, or both. The 2022 Dual Enrollment Annual Report tracked measurable progress towards that goal, showing 53% of high school graduates earning credits or credentials in 2020-21 compared to 51% two years ago. Additionally, Louisiana increased dual enrollment participation among African American students, reducing the state’s equity gap. In 2021-22, students of color represented 42% of dual enrollment students in all Louisiana public colleges and universities – an increase of 5 percentage points since 2018 – with 1,500 more African Americans pursuing college credit in high school.
Based on the overall findings of this year’s report, the following recommendations were presented to make dual enrollment more affordable and accessible:
- Continued Closure of Equity Gaps
- Targeted Investments to Expand Access
- Expansion of Career and Technical Pathways
- Strengthening of College and Career Advising, and
- Continued Use of Multiple Measures to Determine Student Eligibility
The final recommendation – Continued Use of Multiple Measures to Determine Student Eligibility – was acted upon by Regents through approval of the continued use of an emergency policy developed two years ago in response to standardized test cancellations at the start of the pandemic, which allows institutions greater flexibility in determining student eligibility for general education dual enrollment courses. The policy allows colleges and universities to use high school GPA along with high school counselor recommendations based on overall student performance and grade trends (a new option) when determining dual enrollment eligibility.
“This emergency option not only expanded access for students during a time of major disruption but also ended up being a game-changer in terms of successful participation for students who might otherwise have been turned away,” said Dr. Tristan Denley, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Innovation. “This is a great example of pivoting to meet the moment: removing barriers to student success, and applying the results to improve policy. This is how we move the educational attainment needle for the people of our state,” Denley emphasized.
The newly updated minimum requirements for dual enrollment can be found here: https://www.laregents.edu/academicaffairs-policiesandprocedures/
Earlier this year, Regents adopted a first-in-the-nation approach to college admission by allowing students who successfully earn college credit in high school through dual enrollment or early college programs such as AP, IB, or CLEP to use it to meet the state’s minimum admissions standards. Those standards require students to complete a set of core academic courses in high school in addition to earning a certain grade point average or a certain ACT score for college admission. Under the new guidelines, listed below, students who complete that core now have a third pathway option for college admission – earning of an associate’s degree or successful completion of the required number of early college academic credits with the corresponding GPA for their institution of choice.
STATEWIDE MINIMUM ADMISSIONS STANDARDS (for entering class of FALL 2023)
“As we expand dual enrollment in our state and strengthen high-school-to-college transitions, it makes sense that our selective admissions institutions consider the successful completion of college coursework in college admission decisions,” said Commissioner Reed. “In Louisiana we’re working hard to make sure every student has technical, career and academic early college options available to them, is supported, and understands the value of their participation.”
These dual enrollment enhancements are part of a multi-pronged strategy (Pathway to 2030) to reach the state’s attainment goal – 60% of working adults with a degree or credential of value by the year 2030. As part of that work, today Regents also approved Louisiana public colleges and universities to offer a new kind of degree credential, the nexus degree. Nexus degrees combine specialized academic content in a high-demand career field with significant work-based learning experiences to create a stackable degree credential that transfers easily and promotes lifelong learning. Campus proposals for nexus degree offerings could come before Regents for consideration as early as Spring 2023.