The Unintended Consequences of College Credit Plus

The text below was buried at the end of the Ohio State Board of Education December Meeting Report which was published by Focus Education.

It is a very accurate assessment (in my opinion) of the trouble that the CCP rules are causing for students who elect to pursue a more traditional AP/IB pathway and remain in the local high school.  It also underscores the ongoing concern that K-12 institutions are responsible for underwriting the college credit costs for students, which can potentially impact the ability of districts to provide a comprehensive suite of rigorous courses for those who are interested in remaining on the K-12 campus full time (in other words, the bucket of money is the bucket, and with the current rules incentivizing participation in CCP, it is inevitable that districts will be forced to cut offerings for students who choose to stay on campus for their high school career if too many students choose CCP in its current incarnation).

Dr. Richard Rowlett testified that Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) students may be disadvantaged with the new College Credit Plus (CCP) program.  He is concerned about the use of the word “equivalent” when AP and IB courses are not the same as CCP courses.  Students in AP and IB classes are in class at their public high school for about 120 hours during the year.  A student in a CCP course at a local college might only be in class for 45 hours, yet both courses count for an equal amount of class credit.  Additionally, AP and IB assessments are often more demanding than many CCP classes.  His final concern was that the expansion of CCP could ultimately reduce the number of AP classes offered to Ohio’s students.

In answer to a question from Board Member Pat Bruns, Dr. Rowlett noted that students may be incentivized to take CCP classes because unlike AP classes, the CCP classes do not have as rigorous tests to earn the class credit.

Board Member Roslyn Painter-Goffi also noted that CCP course expenses are covered by school districts, while parents and student pay for AP classes.

Maria Humayun, a high school AP student, expressed her concern that the CCP course content and testing is less difficult, yet the CCP course get the same weighting as AP classes.  She said students taking the less rigorous CCP courses can displace her and other students in their graduating class ranking, putting potential college scholarships in jeopardy. 

 

Board Vice President Tess Elshoff indicated the State Superintendent will talk with the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education about the concerns presented.