IU Online is helping instructors to meet requirements of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the body that accredits degree-granting, post-secondary institutions in 19 states, including Indiana.
Graduate courses in biology, chemistry, communications and culture, English, history, mathematics, and political science have been created for high school and community college instructors who teach undergraduate college classes to high school students. Commonly called “dual-credit” or “dual-enrollment” instructors, these teachers must meet HLC guidelines that require them to hold either a master’s degree in the discipline they teach, or a master’s degree in a discipline other than the one they teach, plus a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the subject they teach.
In the 2018 summer and fall semesters, all seven of IU’s campuses worked together to offer 36 graduate-level courses. A total of 373 dual-credit instructors enrolled, with many enrolling in both summer and fall classes. The highest number of credit hours were taken in English, math, and chemistry.
Many of the instructors served by these graduate classes are affiliated with the Advance College Project (ACP) Pipeline Project. This initiative helps IU graduate programs and Indiana high schools work together to provide some high school teachers with up to 6 credits of graduate courses per year at no cost.
Part of the free tuition is funded by an Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) grant of $870,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects, and a $500,000 Indiana Department of Education (DOE) grant.
ACP Director of College Programs Mike Beam says, "This initiative demonstrates Indiana University's commitment to providing a sustainable, statewide solution to dual-credit teacher training and credentialing. I am grateful for the support by the CHE and DOE, and commend Indiana's dual-credit teachers for the remarkable response and engagement with this initiative. The Offices of Online Education and Collaborative Academic Programs, eLearning Design and Services (eDS), and participating faculty have created a real solution for potentially thousands of Indiana dual-credit teachers.”
IU Online regularly adds new programs to its offerings, and several new graduate certificates designed for instructors needing more than a course or two are now in the final stages of approval. A Master of Arts in Teaching is also under development.