Oregon Dual Credit Standards

Oregon's Dual Credit programs create the opportunity for our students to take college-level courses while still in high school. The Dual Credit Task Force found that, in 2005-06, one in seven Oregon juniors and seniors took advantage of this opportunity, saving approximately $9 million in tuition. Through its pilot analysis of the subsequent academic performance of these students, the Task Force also found that "in most cases, Dual Credit students match or outperform their college-prepared counterparts in both community college and university settings."

Thus, Dual Credit is currently a viable option for qualified students to begin post secondary learning early, and it can contribute significantly to meeting Oregon's 40-40-20 goal. As Dual Credit programs grow, it is important to have a consistent set of standards and ways to ensure the standards are met. This is the impetus for adopting the Oregon Standards for Dual Credit "College Now" Programs. Guided by those standards the Task Force specifically recommends

  • Strengthening faculty connections
    • Regular, collegial interactions between high school faculty and their counterparts at sponsoring college and universities are key to the success of these programs. Such interactions characterize some programs already, but they need to be developed and maintained throughout the state.
    • The pool of high school teachers qualified to participate in dual credit programs should be expanded.

  • Adopting systematic application and review processes for Dual Credit programs
    • A standardized application process for new programs is needed
    • Individual programs should take advantage of system-level (CCWD and OUS) studies of the subsequent academic performance of Dual Credit students. These biennial studies, which were piloted in AY2007-08, will be supplemented on the “off year” by more focused analysis of questions or trends that emerge from the data (for example: persistence of dual credit students in math or writing).
    • A sustainable means for verifying program quality is needed.

  • Enhancing public understanding of Dual Credit programs
    • Dual Credit programs should be continued and effectively publicized. They should be recognized as one of the key paths for academic acceleration.
    • Evidence of best practices and student success should be gathered systematically and shared regularly – both with faculty in the programs and with the public.

The Dual Credit program at Portland Community College takes these recommendations to heart and uses them to guide the growth and maintenance of the program. During the 2012-13 school year we developed marketing materials, conducted workshops and held meetings to assist instructors and create partnerships. We provide handbooks for instructors and students to make sure they have the information they need to be successful. We continue to research ways to strengthen our program and to publicize the great work that's being done by our instructors and students. The Oregon Dual Credit Standards are divided into four categories with expectations listed in each subcategory as noted below.

Curriculum 1 (C1) College or university courses administered through a dual credit program are catalogued courses and approved through the regular course approval process of the sponsoring college or university. These courses have the same departmental designation, number, title, and credits as their college counterparts, and they adhere to the same course descriptions.
Curriculum 2 (C2) College or university courses administered through a dual credit program are recorded on the official academic record for students at the sponsoring college or university.
Curriculum 3 (C3) College or university courses administered through dual credit programs reflect the pedagogical, theoretical and philosophical orientation of the colleges’ and universities’ sponsoring academic departments.
Faculty 1 (F1) Instructors teaching college or university courses through dual credit meet the academic requirements for faculty and instructors teaching in post-secondary institutions as stipulated by the respective academic departments.
Faculty 2 (F2) The post secondary institution provides high school instructors with training and orientation in course curriculum, assessment criteria, course philosophy, and dual credit administrative requirements before certifying the instructors to teach the college/university courses.
Faculty (F3) Instructors teaching dual credit sections are part of a continuing collegial interaction, through professional development, seminars, site visits, and ongoing communication with the post-secondary institutions’ faculty and dual credit administration. This interaction addresses issues such as course content, course delivery, assessment, evaluation, and professional development in the field of study.
Students 1 (S1) High school students enrolled in courses administered through dual credit programs are officially registered or admitted as degree-seeking, non-degree or non-matriculated students of the sponsoring post-secondary institution.
Students 2 (S2) Post-secondary institutions outline course requirements and prerequisites.
Students 3 (S3) High school students are provided with a student guide that outlines their responsibilities as well as guidelines for the transfer of credit.
Assessment 1 (A1) Dual credit students are held to the same standards of achievement as those expected of students in on-campus sections.
Assessment 2 (A2) Every section of a course offered through dual credit is regularly reviewed by faculty from that discipline and dual credit staff to assure that grading standards meet or exceed those in on-campus sections.
Assessment 3 (A3) Dual credit students are assessed using similar methods (e.g. papers, portfolios, quizzes, labs, etc.) as their on-campus counterparts.