Funding for a dual credit program in Kentucky that will give students high school and college credit for certain courses as well as reward schools for participation will help the state better prepare students to be part of the workforce, Education and Workforce Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner says.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Heiner said his department is very excited about the $50 million that was allocated by the General Assembly in the new two-year budget to start this dual credit initiative.
“I don’t know anyone who disagrees, quite frankly, I have talked with a lot of people across the state, that dual credit is fantastic for students,” Heiner said. “We know that a student that takes a dual credit where they get credit for both the high school course and a college course, using a college curriculum at the same time, their likelihood to go on into post-secondary just jumps way up compared to the student that hasn’t pursued that.”
Heiner said that the idea of dual credits has been pushed in Kentucky for quite some time but there has never been the needed funding to pursue it. So while the program will begin in the coming years and students will be able to gain dual credits, Heiner said it will take a while to have it achieve the levels he would like to see.
“I hope, someday, a requirement for graduation will be dual credit. Because the jobs today are going to require post-secondary,” Heiner said (at 1:00 in the video below).
The new education and workforce cabinet secretary also explained that a reserve account has been set up for all 227 high schools across Kentucky for dual credit and at the end of the semester, the schools will get $156 for every completed dual credit course a student completes successfully.
Heiner added that amount will likely go up in the coming years and that if a school ramps up their dual credit programs they will quickly be rewarded.
“Every school has an allocation, every school can move forward, and my hope is that we will ramp it up and that at some point in the next four or five years we will say ‘to graduate from a Kentucky high school, you have to have credit either on an academic track or a career track with an industry-specific certification in order to graduate,’” Heiner said (at 2:23).
Hear more about what Heiner had to say on dual credits and what role the business community can play in moving education and workforce forward in the state here:
Check out other portions of The Bottom Line’s interview with Heiner here: