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University of Texas System to convene national conversation on challenges, opportunities of dual credit programs

The University of Texas System, which has been a leader in the dialogue about how dual credit and concurrent enrollment programs can better serve students, is hosting a national symposium to bring thought leaders together to explore the topic in-depth.


The Vertex 2018 Research & Policy Symposium on Concurrent Enrollment & Dual Credit will be held Oct. 5-6 in Denver, Colorado. Experts from across the nation will lead discussions on research, policy challenges and solutions for improving dual credit and concurrent enrollment programs for all student populations.


This year’s symposium is one of several efforts the UT System has spearheaded to examine the impact of dual credit on student success. The UT System recently released one of the most comprehensive studies on dual credit in the nation. In July, the UT System and the Texas Association of Community Colleges convened a task force that issued recommendations on how Texas can address dual credit opportunities and challenges.


Dual credit and concurrent enrollment programs allow high school students to enroll in college courses and receive simultaneous academic course credit for both college and high school. The programs are generally praised by community leaders, educators and parents because of the potential to reduce college debt, expand college accessibility and shorten the timeline to graduation.


Accordingly, enrollment in these programs has been rapidly increasing nationwide. In Texas, more than 151,000 high school students took dual credit classes in 2017 compared to 42,000 in 2000—an increase of 753 percent, as reported by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


“The Vertex Symposium will take a deep dive into the impact this expansion is having on key policy areas such as equity, access, quality, rigor, college readiness, and transfer,” said Rebecca Karoff, UT System’s associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.


Some of the challenges that will be addressed include differences in how dual credit programs are offered across a state, the availability and cost of the programs and how well the courses transfer to meet degree or certification requirements.


“We need to bring all the experts together to focus on delivering dual credit and concurrent enrollment programs that position the nation’s more diverse K-12 students for success in college and beyond,” Karoff added.


The Vertex Conference Series is a recurring national forum hosted by the UT System on topics that impact the changing landscape of higher education. Other collaborators participating in Vertex 2018 include Educate Texas, Education Commission of the States (ECS), Indiana Commission for Higher Education, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), National Association of System Heads (NASH), SAIL (Strategic, Academic, and Innovative Leadership) Institute at State University of New York, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), University System of Maryland, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).


Registration is now open to researchers, policymakers, higher education leaders, K‑12 administrators, and other stakeholders.

About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of more than 235,000 students and an operating budget of $19.5 billion (FY 2019), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce nearly 59,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and almost two-thirds of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 7.8 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.7 billion – the second highest among U.S. public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff.

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