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Supporting College and Career Readiness Through Advanced Course Taking (Part 2)

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Supporting College and Career Readiness Through Advanced Course Taking (Part 2)


KRIS MULVIHILL: So, I’m Kris Mulvihill. I work for Eastern Promise in Pendleton, Oregon. And I’d like to talk just about the overall
program first. Eastern Promise is a collaboration, really,
between partners: our higher ed partners in the region, two community colleges and our
four-year university, as well as our InterMountain Education Service District and Malheur; our
ESDs are the glue that holds the program together. And we’re in about 40 high schools in the
region, and all high schools have access to all of the courses depending on their teacher
qualifications in their schools. So, there are up to one to two years of full
college available at all of these high schools. Eastern Promise as a whole has two overarching
goals. One, to grow a college-going culture in Eastern
Oregon, and to increase access to affordable college credit in high school for all students
toward degree completion. These college credits cost 31 dollars per
credit and most of the school districts pay for the credit, so it’s basically free for
the students. We’ve brought these college credit courses
to the high schools, taught by high school teachers, embedded into the high school day
where we actually have students graduating with credits; they had no idea they’d amassed
so many college credits because it’s just in their regular day. Oregon has the lofty goal that by 2025, 40
percent of Oregonians will have a bachelor’s degree or more. The middle 40 would have a 2-year degree or
more, and the remaining 20 percent would have at least a high school graduation…because
we know, these days, students need some sort of postsecondary education in order to be
successful and to support themselves, and we know that students who take college credits
in high school are much more likely to complete a degree. But you can’t wait until high school; it’s
important to start early. So we started a program called Academic Momentum,
and it consists of about ten lessons per year that the elementary classroom teacher facilitates
with their students. They’re fun lessons; they’re easy to incorporate
into the day. In 5th grade, they start with themes of student
interest and aptitude. They go on a student field trip to a community
college in their area. By 7th grade, they take another field trip
to the university, talk about FAFSA, scholarships, and all the dual-credited courses that will
be available to them when they get to their high school. And then in 9th and 10th grade, like I said,
there are almost one to two years of college in the high school schedule. And I’ll show you a little bit later by high
school how I’ve outlined that so students… there are no secrets; they know exactly what
courses are available toward their graduation and college credit attainment. So as you were talking, Michael, one of our
challenges was teacher authorization. And in order to increase access to affordable
college credit, we needed more capacity for teachers to offer this college credit. And like many of you, we’ve had dual credit
opportunities, or online, or, or going on campus at a college for you know, years, 20
years going back, but there were few or no offerings at our small schools, and even our
larger high schools. There was, wasn’t enough capacity to provide
college credit opportunities to all students. Our school sizes are anywhere from 31 students
to 1,600 students. So even in the large student…in large schools,
the, the college credit opportunities had to be kind of kept secret because we just
didn’t have enough teachers to be able to provide it if students knew about which teachers
could give both high school and college credit at the same time. So, the partners agreed to adjust the initial
teacher authorization criteria from a master’s degree in subject area, or 20 graduate credits,
to a bachelor’s degree in a related content. For example, our teachers have a bachelor’s
degree in biology, let’s say, and then they get their master’s in education. So they basically have a master’s. We also require 3 years of teaching experience
and participation in the professional learning community led by the college professor in
order to be able to give college credit. So, this is a big change that we made with
Eastern Promise in order to increase capacity for teachers offering this credit. The partners agreed to adjust the initial
teacher authorization criteria. We phased this in over the years. So you can see we started with a path, a pilot
in math, added five more courses. The next year, added four more, and then two
more. And in the last two years, we’ve offered more
computer science, but really, we’ve just kept with these core courses. We’re missing five courses for a full AA degree,
and right now we’re focused on just getting more students and an equitable demographic
balance of students in the courses that are available. You can see in this graph that it shows that
the percentage of Eastern Oregon high school students participating in, in their community
college dual credit is higher than the state. And it grows at about the same rate as our
increased opportunities did. This is just community college; it doesn’t
have our four-year university involved also. You can see in 2014 there was 26 percent of
our students participating. But regionwide, we actually have 36 percent
of our students enrolled in a college credit class. And to answer a question earlier, this data
is based on students who are enrolled in the courses, not necessarily those that passed it. So, who are this 36 percent of the students
in Eastern Oregon who are accessing these, these college credits? You can see here in the Hispanic part…first
of all, green is state, black is our overall demographics in the region, and yellow is
the Eastern Promise students. In the Hispanic demographic population, we’ve
actually surpassed the opportunity gap. More students identify as Hispanic in our
program because they have a college-level skill. They speak, comprehend, and write Spanish. We’ve developed a Spanish challenge test so
students can earn 3 high school credits as well as 12 college credits for the Spanish
that they already know. Looking at the free and reduced, someone was
asking, are these the same students that could financially or ability-wise be able to afford
this program. It is free, or a nominal cost for these students,
but we do see that the opportunity gap, even for our socioeconomically disadvantaged students,
is definitely closing in as well. This graph here has more information than
we can possibly go through. I could look at it all day. Just I’ll tell you what you’re looking at. I’ve broken down the last table into subject
areas, so you could look to see which subject areas seem to be meeting the opportunity gap
better than others. And the red line shows the overall demographics
in the region, so you can compare what that opportunity gap is. I’m going to let you digest that at a later
time. So, not only do students in these programs
save time and effort, they don’t have to take Biology 101, 102, 103 in college if they’ve
taken advanced biology, and in that high school course have met college-level proficiency
learning outcomes. They earn the college credit when they learn
it. So, they save their time, their effort, as
well as a great deal of money. Oregon students graduate with an average of
26,000 dollars in debt. In addition, we have some data now–thank you
at Northwest REL, for getting us data that indicates that students who participate in
Eastern Promise graduate at a higher rate. Green is the state graduation rate. Yellow is Eastern Promise, but many people
said, “Yes, but Eastern Promise, you have the créme de la créme students.” So we’re comparing apples to apples with high-achieving
students who scored in the top 25th percentile on a standardized test. And the Eastern Promise high-achieving students
out-graduate their state peers. They go on to college at a higher rate. And they persist at a higher rate, at 85,
almost 85 percent success rate, persisting from the fall of their freshman year to the
fall of their second year. Some of the strategies that we’ve used to
try to increase the success for underserved students is, like I said, Spanish Credit Exam–that’s
12 credits of college and 3 credits of high school. I’m going to show you in the next couple of
slides a virtual advisor that shows every high school student in our area how to not
only graduate, but to find those college classes in their high school in the years that they’re
available. So there are no secrets; we’ve taken all the
secrets away. The student just has to apply themselves and
work hard to pass these rigorous classes. But like I said, those value-adds of college
graduation enrollment and persistence, those are…Michelle can correct me if I’m wrong
in a minute, I know she wanted to answer this question…but those are students who have
taken these courses, so not necessarily passed them. They still graduate at a higher rate, go on
to college, and persist. They’ve learned how to play the college game
better. We’ve also made three High Wage, High Demand
career pathways in addition to the Associative of Arts transfer degree. Oregon now has a new placement policy that
looks at multiple measures, so we’re hoping less students will be placed into developmental
education. And then, also, helping students persist. One of our colleges has gone to online registration
and it’s really made the experience much more authentic, and we think our persistence rate
may actually go up even further. This slide shows at Stanfield Secondary School,
which is a very small school; high population of Hispanic students. In the far left column, you can see where
the student can fill in their data, how many credits is the next one. The BMCC AAOT degree requirements–that’s what
a college calls the courses–but in the middle you see, what do we call it at my high school
at Stanfield Secondary? And then who’s the teacher, and what college
do I, would I ask for my transcripts? So everything put together in one place, no
surprises–who’s the teacher, what’s it called at my high school? And the information that this table is missing
is, when can I take these courses? So we made a virtual advisor that goes from
9th grade to 14th grade telling students how to take 9th grade courses to graduate, but
anything that’s bold is also a college credit course, so they can plan. We give this to 5th graders, so they can look
and say, “Okay, these are the courses I’m going to take when I’m in high school, so
that means I need to be passing my math now so that I can take advantage of these courses
later.” And families can use this as a financial planning
as well to say, “Okay, if you’re on track, your junior, senior year is basically your
college.” You might get a year; some of our students
are graduating with a full AAOT. And that’s the end of my presentation. Thank you. MICHELLE HODARA: Thank you so much, Kris. That was awesome. I think what we’ll do right now is just… We had some questions and if we could start
with asking you, Kris, about how Eastern Promise was able to get around the teacher authorization. We had several questions about that. So how did you work with your postsecondary
institutions to negotiate that? KRIS MULVIHILL: We started with our previously
authorized dual-credit teachers that were in the high school already offering these
credits, and then…I guess we just pointed out the fact that, you know, they’re in the
high schools, they’re already providing this, and our data shows that students were able
to take these courses. And, and, I guess, just getting the people
in the room. It took two years of weekly phone calls of
the college professors, the superintendent at ESD talking about this thing… Are we going to have a placement test that
keeps kids out? Are we going to let them try to take the class
and meet these outcomes throughout the course? So, I think, just really having partners willing
to talk about it and have an open mind and looking at the data, saying, this is what’s
right for our kids and a degree does not necessarily make a strong instructor. And if we get these teachers together on a
regular basis with the college faculty, they can outline exactly what the students need
to learn and have ongoing communication to make sure that those students are actually
meeting those outcomes. And…does that answer it? MICHELLE HODARA: Yeah, I think we had several
questions also about if you ran into any union issues, like the community college union. Just a, a lot of questions around the teacher’s
authorization. KRIS MULVIHILL: Yeah, I read this one about
the union. In Oregon, we have replications. It’s called Eastern Promise Replication grants,
so hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to the other areas in Eastern Oregon. And, actually, I think we have Northwest listening
today and…I don’t know if Sarah Pope can talk…but we’re continually working with
our community colleges because it is, it is difficult for the, the professors to have
so many changes going on. And it, it is a little bit threatening. But we have seen also in…a doubling of the
students going to our local community college if they participated in any kind of this college credit. So, let’s say a student went to Eastern Oregon
University or took a class from Eastern Oregon University in Eastern Promise, they’re twice
as likely to go to Blue Mountain Community College than a student who didn’t take an
Eastern Promise course. So we try to alleviate some of the concerns
that the college professors had, saying, “This will increase your enrollment,” and we now
have data that supports that is exactly true. MICHELLE HODARA: Okay, thank you so much,
Kris, and to all the presenters.

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