Editorial: Don’t change requirements for teachers

Published 9:57 am Friday, September 18, 2015


Minnesota high school students are at risk of losing access to college-level classes because of new requirements for teachers.

The problem arose after the Higher Learning Commission in June updated its standards for college instructors. The commission decided that instructors should hold a master’s degree in the field they teach or have a master’s degree in another field and 18 credits in the field they teach by September 2017.

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This will ultimately mean high school educators could soon be banned from teaching college-level classes, forcing students to wait to take the courses until they reach a college or university, or to forgo them altogether.

We encourage the Higher Learning Commission to reconsider these changes.

Dual-credit classes were taken by 24,731 Minnesota students in 2014 — a 23 percent increase over five years. Many students rely on these classes to earn college credits and to cut their future higher education costs. Many Albert Lea High School students are included in that number.

Locally, students can take part in College in the Schools classes and Advanced Placement courses. College in the Schools courses are offered at the high school through Riverland Community College and are taught by ALHS faculty. Students must be in the top third of their sophomore class, the top half of their junior class and score at college level on the Accuplacer test to be eligible for CIS courses.

Locally, the CIS courses offered include humanities classes, pre-calculus, writing and others related to computers.

In addition to the CIS classes, the high school offers three Advanced Placement classes.

With challenges the area and much of the state are already facing to find teachers, this would make it even more difficult to find teachers for college-level high school classes.

These classes give our high school students a head start into their world of college without the costs. Don’t make it harder for them.

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