BATON ROUGE, La. – Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and Board of Regents (Regents) met jointly today, receiving updates related to dual enrollment and teacher recruitment.
In December 2019, BESE and BOR 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 two Boards received an update that tracked measurable progress on these efforts:
- Progress towards the joint goal. To date, progress has been made towards the goal, with increasing percentages of students graduating with a college credit, credential, or both.
- Participation in dual enrollment has rebounded. Following a small drop in enrollments during the 2019-20 school year, the number of students taking dual enrollment courses at public colleges and universities increased 11% over the past two years, despite disruptions from major hurricanes and a global pandemic.
- Increase in the percentage of participating students identifying as African American. In 2021-22, students of color represented 42% of dual enrollment students in all public colleges and universities, an increase of five percentage points over 2018-19. This growth resulted primarily from a net increase of nearly 1,500 African American students in dual enrollment compared to prior years.
Half of the graduates who earned college credit or industry credentials did so by completing dual enrollment courses. For high school teachers to teach dual enrollment and be the instructor of record on the postsecondary transcript, they must have the same academic credentials and/or documented experience required by all of faculty at the postsecondary institution.
“I am delighted to see the growth in dual enrollment efforts, particularly among African American students,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “This increase stands as a testament to our collective commitment to providing expanded opportunities for all students. We firmly believe that empowering students through education not only transforms their lives but also contributes to the overall prosperity and success of our entire community. We will continue to advocate for policies and initiatives that foster early college access and enhanced student success for every student in Louisiana.”
“The success of dual enrollment in Louisiana is a result of the collective commitment of our educators, school and system leaders, and stakeholders across the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley. “Transforming students’ high school experience to include early college credits fuels increased graduation rates, sparks interest in a career or college, and makes college more affordable for families. Our strategy benefits the entire state.”
To support the goal of increasing dual enrollment opportunities for students in Louisiana, additional teachers will be needed. To increase the number of qualified dual enrollment teachers, LSU A&M, LSUS, and Southern University New Orleans have been selected to begin developing graduate certificate programs to support this work. Enrollment of high school teachers is anticipated to begin by Summer 2024.
Continuing to discuss opportunities for teachers in Louisiana, the Boards received an update related to teacher recruitment and retention. The December 2022 report of the Teacher Recruitment, Recovery, and Retention Task Force acknowledged that Louisiana currently has 44,000 teachers and 1,145 unfilled teacher positions across its public K-12 system. Strategies to continually improve teacher recruitment and retention were discussed. These include the Louisiana pre-educator pathway, which will encourage consideration of the teaching profession for students while in the K-12 system, further expanding the pipeline of aspiring educators in Louisiana.
In addition to supporting the Board of Regents’ efforts to increase college-going, the Boards heard details about a new admissions outreach pilot. This program, motivated by an analysis of high school and standardized test data, seeks to inform potential students about their postsecondary options. Data analysis showed that in communities across the state many more students than were currently attending had test scores that made them eligible for admission to a college or university.
In this pilot program, students from two parishes were proactively sent emails to let them know about their higher education options. The emails were personalized to ensure that each high school student was informed about the institutions – in their region and statewide – that their high school scores qualified them to attend, complete with hyperlinks to admissions sites.
The early results are encouraging. The majority of students opened emails they were sent, and many clicked through to the admissions pages of the universities and community colleges identified in the emails. Regents and LOSFA staff will continue to analyze the impact of this program on enrollment with an eye toward expanding the pilot to other parishes in the coming year.
By law, Regents and BESE are required to meet jointly twice a year to discuss education policy, share information, and vote on issues of mutual interest.
Melissa Maranto, Communications Director
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Dr. Chris Yandle, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
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