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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:03 am 
In analyzing this fall’s census data, Western New Mexico University found that the 10 percent drop in enrollment this year was largely due to the decrease in dual enrollment students. In examining the causes, WNMU found a correlation between the decline and the loss in qualified instructors, due to the Higher Learning Commission’s new accreditation requirements.

Dual enrollment accounts for nearly eighty percent of WNMU’s drop in overall enrollment.

“We’re down 324 undergraduate students. Of those, 247 are dual enrolled,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said.
Some WNMU faculty members who facilitated the 100-level courses taken by dual enrollment students no longer met the Higher Learning Commission’s Qualified Faculty Requirements.
“We had to change how we vet the instructors for the program. A handful of them did not have the current qualifications to teach the courses for college credit,” Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Isaac Brundage said.

As a result, WNMU was unable to offer three sections of Computer Literacy 111, and one section of Social Work 101, totaling four classes.

“There were also several courses for which fall registration was delayed due to the new vetting process, but students are now enrolled in these classes. We are working with the schools now to ensure timely vetting and course creation,” said Mary Billings, Director of the Center for Student Success.

Students who take college courses while they are still in high school do so through WNMU’s dual enrollment program, which aims to increase the educational opportunities for area high schoolers at little or no cost to the students or their families.

The decrease in dual enrollment does not significantly impact the university’s revenues. WNMU does not charge dual enrollment students tuition, and also waives registration and technology fees. Students are responsible only for a $30 online fee (normally $90 per course) and any fees specific to their classes.

“The amount of money the university receives for dual enrolled students is less than the cost to provide those courses,” President Shepard said.

Through dual enrollment, students can get ahead on general education courses required at state institutions and also get experience in a university setting.

“Dual enrollment students tend to have higher graduation rates, because they’re already familiar with the college life. Dual enrollment students often become regular students when they decide to go to college. These students are important,” Brundage said. “Once we have these processes and more qualified instructors back in place, we’ll be able to increase our dual enrollment population on campus.”

This month, WNMU is reviewing a new dual enrollment policy and procedure manual with participating high schools. “We anticipate increased enrollment for spring,” Billings said.

# # #
Jennifer Olson
Phone: 575.538.6353

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:57 am 
Looks like someone at Western dropped the ball. Western had 2 years to address this problem and could have ask for an extension but appears not to have. Don't put the blame on the Higher Learning Commission put it where it belongs on the University administration.

Here's the statement from the Higher Learning Commission:

From the Higher Learning Commission, Determining Faculty Qualifications
The Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees adopted a clarification to HLC's Assumed Practice B.2. regarding faculty roles and qualifications in June 2015, with an effective date of September 1, 2017. This revision clarified HLC’s longstanding expectations regarding the qualifications of faculty and the importance of faculty members having appropriate expertise in the subjects they teach.

The September 1, 2017, implementation date reflects the need expressed by institutions to work with faculty in dual credit programs, challenges facing rural-serving institutions, faculty development considerations, and the time needed to address these types of concerns. It allows institutions time to assess their needs in the area of faculty qualifications and achieve compliance with the policy. This date also aligns with the start of an academic year in accordance with faculty contracts and core institutional documents such as faculty handbooks.

HLC has provided an opportunity for institutions with dual credit programs to apply for extensions related to compliance of faculty in dual credit programs with the revision to Assumed Practice B.2. Institutions that have been granted an extension will have until September 1, 2022, to come into compliance with the revised Assumed Practice. The extension includes faculty who might be assigned to teach dual credit during the extension period, but who were not assigned to teach dual credit at the time the institution submitted its application for the extension.

 Author: pekeclooney
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:46 am 
So, I'm slightly confused. Does this mean WNMU has been paying current local High School teachers to teach the dual enrollment class in the local high schools? The foundation of requiring dual enrollment classes for NM students was for them to experience a college classroom environment and the structure of college classes (and college professors), not sit in their same high school classrooms to be taught by the same teachers.

I do know many High School teachers that are highly qualified, but the point of the requirement is to make students step outside their comfort zone to embrace a college environment to hopefully take advantage of the NM Lottery Scholarship available by seeing the excitement college life has offer. Seems WNMU is missing the perfect opportunity by not requiring students to attend classes on campus.

More worrisome, is WNMU supplementing the consolidated schools' budget for staffing with this program?

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