Baton Rouge, LA. – Louisiana’s K-12 and postsecondary education policy boards met jointly today, setting 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. According to the Department of Education, in the class of 2018, 50.4% of Louisiana graduates achieved college credit for at least one course or a high-value industry credential.
The boards also discussed, and Regents later adopted, an amendment to the state’s dual enrollment eligibility requirements, replacing End-of-Course tests with LEAP 2025 assessments to encourage increased participation by students who have not yet taken the ACT.
“Setting a shared goal between our boards sends a strong signal regarding our expectations for every Louisiana high school student – that you will need credentials beyond high school and that an early start is a smart start for our students, ” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “Today’s meeting demonstrates the important collaboration occurring across the educational ecosystem in response to the Board of Regents Master Plan call to increase talent development in our state. We are thankful for BESE’s partnership and support.”
“Today’s joint announcement addresses critical attempts to expand life opportunities for high school graduates,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “If our state is to achieve greater levels of upward mobility for its people, especially those disadvantaged by circumstance and history, we will need to be relentless in finding new ways of going about our business. I appreciate greatly Dr. Hunter Reed and the entire Board of Regents for their willingness to join us in this call for change.”
In anticipation of approximately 45,000 public and private high school freshmen graduating with college credit or a credential in the future, Regents asked staff to research and recommend updates to its dual enrollment eligibility requirements. Dual enrollment provides an early start for students on their college and career journeys and allows students to decrease their time to degree once in college, thus making higher education more affordable for families.
Currently, dual enrollment eligibility criteria are:
· a minimum 2.5 high school GPA,
· a 19 ACT composite, and
· sub-scores of 19 in Math and 18 in English.
Regents had, for many years, provided alternatives for students who want to participate in dual enrollment but have not yet taken the ACT by using End-of-Course exams. However, those assessments were phased out by the Department of Education (DOE) and replaced with LEAP 2025, requiring Regents to amend its policy. The recommendation adopted today is temporary and will be revisited by Regents as additional research is completed and feedback is received from stakeholders, including math faculty as well as high
In the meantime, the updated policy allows students who have not yet taken the ACT to use a proficiency level of Mastery or above on the LEAP 2025 assessment in English II for dual enrollment eligibility in English.
For Math, College Algebra eligibility will be granted through a score of Mastery or above on the LEAP 2025 Geometry assessment AND completion of high school Algebra II with a “C” or better. Or for non-algebraic Math, a proficiency level of Mastery or above on the LEAP 2025 Geometry assessment will be accepted.
“This is a great first step towards updating the eligibility requirements for dual enrollment, allowing students multiple pathways to access college credit in high school,” said Board of Regents Chairman Marty Chabert. “Anything we can do to make sure students are getting what they need to succeed is exciting.”
Looking ahead, recommendations by the 12-member Dual Enrollment Task Force are expected in early 2020 and will be presented in a report to the House and Senate Education Committees. A set of draft guiding principles being deliberated by the task force were shared for discussion with Regents and BESE today. The Task Force was formed through Act 128 of the 2019 Legislative Session. The goal of the group is to establish a statewide framework to provide universal access to dual enrollment for all eligible high school juniors and seniors. The Task Force is expected to finalize the guiding principles at its January 6 meeting.
Finally, one newly-appointed and one re-appointed member of Regents were sworn into office this morning before the Board of Regents meeting. Mr. Phillip May, President and Chief Executive Officer of Entergy Louisiana, was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to fill the unexpired term of Congressional District 1 member Marty Chabert. At the same time, Chairman Chabert was re-appointed to fill the vacant at-large seat formerly held by Jacqui Vines-Wyatt, extending his service on the Board by two additional years.
The Louisiana Board of Regents is a 15-member volunteer board appointed by the Governor. The Board is responsible for planning, coordinating, and budgeting for all public higher education in the state of Louisiana. Each term is six years with at least one (but not more than two) Regents drawn from each of Louisiana’s six Congressional districts.