Those who teach Dual Credit courses have to walk a fine line every day between working in a high school environment while teaching a college course.
Keeping attendance, progress reports, schedule changes and dealing with parents at high school is different from college, said instructors at the Alvin Community College Dual Credit Orientation on August 20.
“When those students walk into your classroom, they are in a college course,” said Leigh Ann Moore, ACC English instructor. “They are no longer in high school.”
Moore was one of several speakers during the second annual Dual Credit Orientation. More than 60 teachers from from Alvin, Danbury and Pearland ISDs attended the orientation to prepare for the upcoming school year.
The orientation was funded by a $1,000 Innovative Initiative grant from the ACC Foundation.
The orientation included seminars on the roles of the instructors, syllabus procedures, online software platforms and more. Other topics such as classroom expectations and the responsibilities of students also were discussed as part of the program.
More than a quarter of ACC’s students attend classes through Dual Credit.
“Students in this community have a wonderful opportunity to get a jump start on their college education while still in high school,” said ACC President Dr. Christal Albrecht.
Dr. Albrecht also asked the Dual Credit teachers for input into how to improve their courses for their students.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to hearing from you about ideas that you may have,” she said. “It is so important.”
Dual Credit Director Akilah Martin told the teachers that the orientation will hopefully bring everyone together to make sure their efforts in the classroom are meeting college standards.
“We will have a lot of information for you and we are here to answer any questions,” she said.
In addition to class procedures, the teachers also received a lot of information about the education software platform BlackBoard, which is used for classroom instruction and online courses. Distance Education Director Dena Coots spoke with the instructors about updates to the software, added user options, enrollment changes and new online courses.
Uses for the program vary as some teachers will use it primarily to communicate with students while others will use it to disseminate class materials, Coots said.
“This is a very extensive tool,” she said. “Please use it for what you need.”
ACC has more than 1,300 Dual Credit students and the program continues to grow. The orientation will ensure that students are receiving the same education at their high school that they would at the ACC campus, Dr. Albrecht said.
“You’re helping to mold these students into being real college students while they’re in high school,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
For more information about Dual Credit, visit www.alvincollege.edu/DualCredit.aspx or call 281-756-3726.