Digital technology will be putting a new perspective on courses for Somerset Independent High School students this fall. The school was selected for the University of Kentucky’s new dual credit program. Taught by both high school teachers and UK professors, the program allows students to earn both high school and college credits.
Through this new program at the university, juniors and seniors at some Kentucky high schools can become UK Next Generation Scholars, taking “live” UK classes in which college instructors help teach the courses via interactive video.
Typically, in dual credit courses, a high school instructor teaches the college material, but the UK model partners college faculty with high school teachers and allows for virtual “face-to-face” instruction.
The dual credit approach was developed by the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership at the UK College of Education.
“Schools are paying particular attention to what it takes to prepare students to meet the demands of a fast-changing career landscape,” said Lu Young, Center for Next Generation Leadership Executive Director and associate clinical professor in the UK College of Education. “School leaders who are part of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership Network tell us they joined the effort to help all students develop 21st century skills and have a smoother transition to college and careers, and we see dual credit as a way to help pave that path.”
In the decade since the center began at UK, hundreds of Kentucky school leaders have worked with the center to redesign the school experience for contemporary life, learning, and careers.
“Offering dual credit became a logical next step for these schools as they work to improve the high school experience and better prepare students for college transitions,” said Justin Bathon, Co-Director of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership, and an associate professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the UK College of Education.
“We will be working with a diverse population of high school students to increase college-going rates across the Commonwealth,” said Christine Harper, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management.
Somerset Independent will start UK’s dual credit program in August 2020 along with five other Kentucky schools, including: Bardstown Independent High School, Fleming County High School, Lawrence County High School, Trimble County High School, and Logan County High School. Four schools are currently serving as pilot sites for the dual credit initiative: Paris Independent High School, Marshall County High School, Elkhorn Crossing School in Scott County, and STEAM Academy in Fayette County.
Students taking dual credit courses from UK will have an advisor from the UK Next Generation Leadership Academy who checks in on their progress, helps complete college applications and supporting materials, and promotes a successful transition to college.
“We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to our students." said Jeff Wesley, Principal of Somerset High School. "The supports from the University of Kentucky paired with the collaborative aspects of this program with our own staff make this a perfect recipe for student success and growth. Add to that, UK classes with wide transferability at the dual credit rate and this becomes an unbelievable value as well."
Next Gen Scholars will apply for admission to UK as non-degree seeking students. They can take up to a maximum of 10 UK courses while in high school. The UK courses will be delivered both online and by high school teachers who have been trained by UK faculty to teach the curricula. Tuition for courses in the dual credit program, in alignment with state determined dual credit rates, may be paid by either the school or the student, as determined by each district’s policy. Districts will be expected to provide tuition support to qualifying free or reduced lunch students per the CPE policy.
UK dual credit courses are developed and offered primarily by UK academic departments with the support of local high school staff. UK colleges contributing to the available courses include:
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Communication and Information
College of Design
College of Education
Additional information about UK’s dual credit program can be found at https://www.uky.edu/sal/dual-credit