Firelands to receive group grant to fund dual enrollment/dual credit program

BGSU Firelands, the Erie-Huron-Ottawa Educational Service Center and the Educational Service Center of Lorain County will receive a $225,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education to aid high school students in earning college credit.

Dr. Andrew Kurtz, associate dean for engagement and outreach at Firelands, hopes the grant “engages high school students for whom, for whatever reason, college isn’t on the map and (encourages them to further pursue it by) giving credit.”

Beginning in fall 2008, high school students in Erie, Huron and Lorain counties may take college-level classes in mathematics, science and foreign language. Students will receive credit through both their high school and BGSU.

Requirements for class enrollment will be determined at each individual high school. Kurtz said Firelands encourages high schools to ensure success among their students. Because strict requirements are not in place, high schools may choose the best students or identify the underachievers and provide support.

The grant is important because, according to Kurtz, the existing models for dual credit (post secondary and technical preparation at vocational schools) have good and bad points, whereas the grant is “win-win.”

He explained that when high school students take post-secondary classes, high schools lose money and when students attend vocational schools, it limits the number of students attending colleges.

With the grant, neither the high schools nor the college is harmed.

Along with tuition reimbursement, the grant funds professional development for high school teachers. According to Kurtz, teachers involved in the program will be trained how to teach at the college level and receive graduate credit. Teachers will also be matched with a mentor from the college.

As a result of the new grant, enrollment at both Firelands and the main campus may increase.

“(It will) show students Bowling Green State University offers a quality education, and it instills name recognition,” said Kurtz.

January 7, 2008