- Dual Credit courses at non-college location high schools
- Faculty control over course content
- Scope and ability to offer Dual Credit
- Dual Credit staff/support
Each college is independently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and has autonomy over the dual credit program and offerings. As per the SACSCOC website, “When an institution has earned accreditation by SACSCOC, it signifies that it has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose.“ Colleges must hold this accreditation so that its courses transfer to other higher education institutions and the college can offer federal financial aid, among other reasons. SACSCOC’s principles and policies apply without exception to all dual enrollment students, programs and instructional sites. This includes:
- Determining student eligibility for admission to dual credit courses
- Managing and overseeing the registration process
- Determining which courses are offered as dual credit
- Ensuring that students follow college admissions and academic policies
- Selecting qualified instructors based on an evaluation of credentials
- Ensuring that schools employ appropriate syllabi, curricula and student learning outcomes
- Choosing textbooks and learning resources for dual credit classes
- Giving students an opportunity to evaluate the instructor
The full SACSCOC dual credit policy statement (PDF) is available on the SACSCOC website.
Offering Dual Credit Courses at the High School of Other Non-College Locations
The college must notify SACSCOC when it offers instruction at a new location other than the college or other approved college site(s). The rules on how to notify SACSCOC vary depending on what percentage the course(s) make up of a credential (a certificate, diploma or degree).
- If the course(s) offered make up less than 25% of a college credential, notification to SACSCOC is not required.
- If the course(s) offered make up 25% to 49% of a college credential (whether or not the student intends to earn the credential), the college must provide SACSCOC with a notification letter outlining what will be offered and where. Once the college submits the letter, the dual credit course may be offered at the new site.
- If the course(s) offered make up 50% to 100% of a college credential (whether or not
the student intends to earn the credential), the college must submit a prospectus
– a lengthy report detailing information about the course(s), faculty credentials,
library resources, institutional resources, student support services and the instructional
site where the course(s) will be offered.
- The cost to submit the prospectus is $500, and the approval process takes about six months.
- The prospectus should be submitted by January 1 for a fall start and by July 1 for a spring start.
- Coursework cannot be offered at a new site until the prospectus is approved.
- Once a site has received approval, other courses can be offered for dual credit. This will require a notification letter (see above) or an additional prospectus if the academic credential is not already on the college’s approved academic inventory.
An example of this is the three-credit-hour NAA 100 course. Students who pass the NAA 100 course have earned a college certificate. Once a new site has received this full approval, the site may offer other courses for dual credit. This will require a notification letter or an additional prospectus if the academic credential is not already on the college’s approved academic inventory.
Note: If the high school requires students enrolled in an online dual credit course to be in a specific place at a specific time to take the course, the rules above must be followed.
College Faculty Must Maintain Control Over Course Content & Learning Outcomes
Dual credit courses taught at high schools are college courses and are documented on college transcripts.
- The college is responsible for ensuring that the course content, learning outcomes and course assessment meet the same standards as courses that take place on the college’s campus.
- To that end, the college must provide oversight through methods such as classroom visits by college administrators or faculty, review of course syllabi and course assessments, and review of student learning outcomes.
Scope and Ability to Offer Dual Credit
The college has to balance its dual credit offerings and needs with college offerings and needs while taking the following into consideration:
- Scheduling of classes
- Ability to offer a course
- Do the courses fit into a program offered at the college?
- Are there qualified instructors to teach the course?
- Are there available classrooms and/or equipment to offer the course?
- Does the college have the capacity to manage the dual credit offerings and students?