Governor and local education partners introduce “High School Connections”
New pilot program offers FREE MSUB courses in local high schools.
May 31, 2016
Harold Olson, MSUB/CCMSUB Dual Credit, 247-3015
Roger Dereszynski, Billings Public Schools, 281-5068
Aaron Clingingsmith, University Relations and Communications, 657-2243
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Educational ingenuity was on display at the Billings Career Center this morning during a media conference held by Governor Bullock, Commissioner of Higher Ed Christian and local educators.
The cohort rolled out a plan to bring MSUB courses and the accompanying university credits to Billings area high schools this coming academic year at no cost to students through an innovative pilot program titled High School Connections.
The one-year pilot aims to increase student access to dual credit by removing financial barriers, increase awareness of the impact of dual credit on student success, and increase the number of high school teachers who have the appropriate credentials to teach dual credit.
Governor Steve Bullock, noting tremendous growth over the past four years in the number of students taking dual-credit courses, said he is committed to growing the opportunities even further. “Dual credit saves Montana families millions of dollars in college tuition and better prepares students to succeed in college,” he said. “Here in Billings, and across Montana, we are working together so our families and our kids can get an excellent college education that’s still affordable.”
Chancellor Nook and Superintendent Bouck impressed local high school students attending the announcement by informing them the courses would be taught by their high school teachers at their respective high school in partnership with faculty members from MSUB. If that wasn’t enough to please, the duo announced the courses would be provided at no-charge for the first year.
“This concept has been incubating between SD2 and MSUB since I arrived in 2014,” commented Nook. “When performance based funding became available through MUS and OCHE earlier this year we knew we had the capital to create a truly innovative pilot program.”
“We are excited to tap the expertise of our teachers in SD2 while at the same time helping them grow in their careers,” said Bouck, foreshadowing the curriculum being designed by MSUB faculty members for his teachers.
At present, there is a finite number of high school teachers credentialed to teach college courses at their schools, but that is about to change. During the upcoming year, MSUB faculty will work to develop graduate level courses in the disciplines where there is currently a shortage of dual enrollment qualified high school teachers. This effort will substantially grow the number of offerings in area high schools by fall 2017.
MSU Billings has developed a website, msubillings.edu/connections, to provide students and parents information about the opportunities of this pilot program.
Billings School District 2 and MSUB will offer the following courses for Fall 2016:
Introduction to Business: Billings West High School
American History (Pre-Colonial to 1877): Billings West High School
American History (1877 forward): Billings West High School
College Welding: Cutting & Shielding, Metal Arc Welding Lab: Billings Career Center
College Welding: Layout and Pattern Making: Billings Career Center
Human Growth & Development: Billings Career Center
College Writing: Billings Career Center
College Technical Writing: Billings Career Center
College Technical Math: Billings Career Center
College Extended Technical Math: Billings Career Center
College Algebra: Senior High School, Billings West High School, Career Center,
Skyview High School
College Trigonometry: Senior High School, West High School, Skyview High School,
College Emergency Medical Technician: Career Center
College Web Design & Programing: Career Center
College Automotive*- Electrical: Career Center
College Automotive*- Brakes: Career Center
Billings Central Catholic High School and MSUB will offer the following courses for fall 2016:
Western Civilization (The West and the World to 1648)
Western Civilization (The West and the World since 1648)
American History (Pre-Colonial to 1877)
American History (1877 forward)
College Chemistry, pending availability
For additional information about High School Connections visit: www.msubillings.edu/connections