More Minnesota students go for high school-college twofer

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 10, 2012 - 8:53 AM

Programs formerly for the A+ students are being made more widely available.

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jackstpaul4Jan. 10, 12 1:20 AM

This isn't the elevation of high school education, or of most students, it's the dumbing down of what counts as college work. Improve the high school curriculum, the teaching, the whole experience. This is being done so that people can get jobs more easily, not in pursuit of better educated, more skilled and knowledgeable people. AP programs, other than some techncial ones, are a joke. Multiple chocie tests are not what you'll get at a decent college in things like the social sciences and humanities. Critical thinking is what constitutes college work. When I was a grad student and teaching assistant, we didn't accept AP tests at any score level as counting for credit, and the students who had taken the the AP test and done well, did no better in the intro course to the field that their AP class supposedly taught them already. What this does is is downgrade the "college" experience for those once they get to community "college" or real college. Let the top 2 percent who are mature and highly motivated take some real college courses at the U, and keep the others in h.s.--improved h.s. with better material, teaching, and more discipline.

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minneg56Jan. 10, 12 7:02 AM

Hey! If a kid can qualify to take these courses that's one thing- great! But, if they aren't totally dominating regular high school course work, then the upper courses shouldn't be watered down to accommodate. Today though it seems that ed standards are only established to be pulled down to the lowest common denominator ...

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fwallenJan. 10, 12 8:08 AM

It would be a great program if all the parties were aligned with the students needs paramount. But I doubt this is the case. The sad Truth in the issue is that cash is the driver for all concerned. Some young students may have the smarts to do OK on a college campus but lack the maturity to do so. MNSCU has cut and cut which has caused administrators to look for revenue as their near full-time job. Sad, the HS student can be the winner or the prey.

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alagnakJan. 10, 12 8:08 AM

The question that should asked the most but is not, still remains unanswered...... What are we doing for our large population of students who aren't cut out for college? The ones that probably shouldn't go that route but feel the need to because counselors and teachers push them in that direction because that is what worked for them and geared them for their teaching career. Are we still investing in technical education programs to prepare them for the work force with on the job trades training, or technical college programs? Or are we hoping they too get a hodge-podge of random 'general ed' college courses that don't get them ready for anything but a 4 year liberal arts degree? You can wipe your you-know-what with a half of liberal arts degree. You can pay your bills and help support a family with a respectful career in automotive, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. The last time I checked, we are all going to be driving for a few more years, going to the bathroom, turning on light switches, heat and a/c. Computers? Any of you ever use a computer?????????? I thought so. Do you need a 4 year degree to work on or network them?

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iamweboJan. 10, 12 8:22 AM

Two of my children did PSEO - Post Secondary Education Option. Both graduated from the local community college with an AA in Liberal Arts BEFORE they graduated high school. Both had 3.2 GPA's in college. We saved between the 2 children $70,000 in tuition! YES! That much! My oldest graduated 2 years ahead of their peers and has an excellent job. My other child is at the university and is expected to graduated 2 years ahead of their peers. Not all students can handle the responsibility of college during high school and high school students have to provide their own transportation. High school students who participate in PSEO full time DO NOT miss out on the high school "experience"! They still played sports, they still did activities with their class members, and they still went to homecoming/prom. What my 2 children experienced was higher level course work and got the college credit they earned! AP classes you still have to test out of the class (and pay to test out). Why don't high schools promote PSEO? Because they LOSE money for that student. It all comes down to money. It is a disgrace to high schools who do not promote PSEO. High school in fact will try to dissuade students from PSEO by doing things like they won't get weighted grades like they would if they took AP classes in high school (even though the college course work is way more difficult!). Neither of my children could graduate with "honors" from high school, when they graduated with honors from the community college!

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beebee82Jan. 10, 12 8:36 AM

I'm not sure where the first poster attended high school or college. From my experience in the AP courses I took, they were challenging and beneficial. Multiple choice tests are certainly used in "decent" colleges all the time. The AP courses I took advantage of in high school were certainly more challenging than the "History of Rock and Roll" and gym classes I was forced to take at one of the most "decent" and expensive public universities in Minnesota.

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rdahl12Jan. 10, 12 8:45 AM

The program that the Irondale school is presenting complements the AP and course work on the college campuses during HS which are addressed at the higher acheiving students level. The new program focuses on the middle range students that may feel non-motivated and eventually drop out as the existing "tracking" programs do not fit their current grade status (keep in mind, that to participate in current programs, students must be in the top 1/3 of their class). I think that this is a very innovative approach as students in the new program could get an Associate (2 yr), degree while in HS. This new track could be a great motivator for these kids who then have a better chance to be a productive member of our community. My question that I have is; Will this change the school's focus on higher tracking programs and will existing resources be shifted to the new program where others may be starved (can you say referendum?). Regardless, I applaud the creativity and effort!!

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Thumper5316Jan. 10, 12 8:46 AM

There are so many things wrong with this that I don't know where to start. So, I'll start with who is going to pay the tuition fees? More than likely, we the taxpayers, will end up footing that bill. Next, why are so many kids advanced enough to take these classes? It means that either high school has been dumbed down or that the college courses have been dumbed down. Either way, we as a country lose. It used to be that the A+ students attended these classes because the high school courses had exhausted anything they could offer that student. If so many students have 'out grown' high school classes then it's time to step the curriculum back up a notch again. We, as taxpayers, are letting the public school system get away with doing as little as possible and they are living up to our expectation.

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mikkowellmanJan. 10, 12 8:47 AM

PSEO is the way to go. I was able to knock 2 years off of my Bachelor's Degree - while in high school. I was also able to experiment with various fields until I found the one I ended up in.

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johnpaperJan. 10, 12 9:17 AM

Many students are getting bad advice from high school counselors. Going to college with a bunch of credits does not guarantee you will knock off a substantial amount of time from your college education. For example, if you are a science major, you will still likely need 4 years to graduate.

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