Dual Credit Derelict

American high schools don’t seem to be working in the real world. As a dad, I’m part of the problem. I remember what it was like when I went to high school, and now that I have kids in high school, I’m looking for something that resembles what I experienced. Im guessing Im not alone. But this approach is actually misguided.

The world has changed so much over the past thirty-six years. Fax machines have come and gone. The internet has exploded. And we are now on seventh series of the iPhone. Nonetheless, most high schools look nearly the same as when I graduated in 1981. Sure, they dress themselves up with Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and honors classes, as well as STEM and dual credit college courses, but most of them still look and operate mostly the same.

Things need to change.

Most urgently, from what I can see, we need to change our approach to dual credit. Many high schools say they offer it, and they do. But they often dont push it. And its rarely done in a way that will produce the results we want.

Many schools offer dual credit-lite. They have dual credit classes on their own campuses and anticipate that students will earn three to six credits by the time they graduate from high school. This approach limits the college experience to what happens in a high school classroom, supplies no college-campus or college-life experience, and usually does not result in students earning many college credits while in high school. To be sure, some schools allow students to take courses on college campuses, but the student is often responsible for arranging for transportation and paying for the textbooksand sometimes for the credits, as well. This limits participation.

At 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana, which the GEO Foundation (of which I am president and founder) manages, we do dual credit on steroids. We provide our students college experience while in high school because, unlike children of many middle class families, most of the kids we serve don’t come from households with parents who hold college degrees. So we seek to furnish more of whats otherwise missing. We use state tuition support funds to pay for our students to take college classes on college campuses. For instance, one of our students is receiving her bachelors degree in May from Purdue University, where she took fifteen credit hours per semester, and our school wrote a check for $3,500 each term to cover her tuition at Purdue. Other students took three credits at Ivy Tech Community College, for which we paid roughly $400 per class, per student. For each of these pupils, we also pay for their textbooks and cover the cost of commuting between our school and college. We also provide a small study room on our high school campus and our staff follows up with each student to make sure they are successful in their college pursuits.

We can afford to do this, in part, because we limit our high school class offerings. Colleges offer more courses than we ever could and give our students a true college experience. Why should we have foreign language classes, a Computer Architecture Design (CAD) class, auto mechanics, or any other elective or career/certification class in our own facility when we find the same courses at the postsecondary level? If we do our job righttruly preparing our pupils to excel at the college levelthey should be able to do freshman and sophomore college work while still juniors and seniors in our school.

At 21C, we will graduate all forty-three seniors on time in May, and eight have already earned college degreesseven associate degrees and one bachelors degreewhile attending our high school. Given that all of our students live below the poverty line, its troubling that our approachand successisnt more common. If disadvantaged kids from Gary can graduate with college degrees or with a significant number of college credits, more kids from middle- and upper-income school districts can do the same. Perhaps its because most high schools still operate the old school waybuilding a bigger high school campus, offering more high school electives and course choices, hiring more staff, and calling it a day.

Its time to update Americas high school model. Too many graduates are unprepared for higher education. One way to do this is to follow our lead: Run a leaner high school operation and use the money saved to voucherize students state tuition support so they can earn college credit and experience before they ever set foot on campus as a college freshman.

Kevin Teasley is president and founder of the Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation.


Aplica Ahora

Grade Level

GEO Prep Academy utilizará el sistema en línea EnrollBR para el proceso de inscripción 2021-2022. EnrollBR es un proceso de solicitud común que brinda ayuda a las familias con la correcta elección de la escuela que satisfará las necesidades que sus hijos tengan. Los padres deben seguir las instrucciones a continuación para registrarse para el año escolar 2020-2021.

  1. Haga clic aquí para ir directamente a EnrollBR y comenzar su aplicación.
  2. Necesitará una dirección de correo electrónico. Si no tiene uno, aquí le brendaremos instrucciones para ayudarlo a configurar una cuenta de gmail de Google. Haga clic aquí
  3. Para obtener instrucciones sobre cómo completar la solicitud de inscripción ante de, Haga clic aquí

Para el año escolar 2020-2021, GEO Prep Academy inscribirá los grados K – 8o. Las escuelas están ubicadas en:

  • Grados K-2do – 4006 Platt, Baton Rouge, LA 70814
  • 3ro – 8vo Grados – 2311 N. Sherwood Forest Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70815

Para obtener información sobre cómo inscribirse en el actual año escolar, comuníquese con la escuela. Se puede contactar a ambas escuelas al número (225) 927-1500.

Apply Now

Grade Level

GEO Prep Academy will be utilizing the EnrollBR online system for the 2021-2022 enrollment process. EnrollBR is a common application process that assists families with school choice to meet the needs of their child(ren). Parents should follow the below directions to register for the 2020-2021 school year.

  1. Click Here to go directly to EnrollBR and begin your application.
  2. You will need an email address. If you do not have one, there are instructions to help you set up a Google Gmail Account. Click here
  3. For instructions on completing the enrollment application beforehand, Click Here

For the 2020-2021 school year, GEO Prep Academy will be enrolling grades K – 8. The schools are located at:

  • K-2nd Grades – 4006 Platt, Baton Rouge, LA 70814
  • 3rd – 8th Grades – 2311 N. Sherwood Forest Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70815

For information on enrolling this current school year, please contact the school. Both schools can be contacted at (225) 927-1500.