The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Pulaski County Special School District have announced a new concurrent enrollment partnership that will include the four high schools served in the district.
On Nov. 4, officials from UALR and PCSSD met in the Student Services Center at UALR to sign a memorandum of understanding for the partnership that will include Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School, Joe T. Robinson High School, Maumelle High School, and Sylvan Hills High School.
On hand for the 2:30 p.m. signing were UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson, UALR Provost Zulma Toro, PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess, and PCSSD Assistant Superintendent John Tackett.
Under the terms of the MOU, high school students from these schools can enroll in university courses offered by UALR at their high schools. Participation in the courses will allow them to earn college credit, which may include blended Advanced Placement-concurrent credit.
Participating in concurrent enrollment classes can offer high school students an affordable pathway to college, Rogerson said.
“The cost of higher education is getting prohibitive,” Rogerson said. “There is a pathway into this university that is affordable. One of the biggest costs of education nowadays is accommodation. If you can stay at home, it makes sense financially. We can get more students educated locally if we give them a package that makes financial sense.”
The goals of the partnership include:
Reducing the costs of higher education to students and families.
Facilitating degree completion.
Promoting early completion of degrees.
Introducing high school students to university life in a familiar educational environment.
Providing comprehensive academic advising to students seeking the college credit.
Encouraging students to continue college beyond concurrent enrollment.
Mary Elizabeth Woolery, the UALR concurrent enrollment coordinator, will be the university’s point of contact and oversee all aspects of the partnership, including application, admission, registration, completion, and transfer credit processes at an annual orientation meeting.
Courses offered for concurrent credit under this agreement will be taught on the participating high school campuses, unless other mutually acceptable arrangements are made.
Concurrent enrollment provides high school students the opportunity to take college-credit bearing courses taught by college-approved high school teachers. It is a low-cost scalable model for bringing accelerated courses to students in urban, suburban, and rural high schools.
Students gain exposure to the academic challenges of college while in their supportive high school environment and earn college credit as they successfully pass the course. Concurrent enrollment also facilitates close collaboration between high school teachers and college faculty that fosters alignment of secondary and postsecondary curriculum.
Sometimes called “dual credit,” “dual enrollment,” or “college in the high school,” concurrent enrollment partnerships differ from other models of dual enrollment because high school instructors teach the college courses.
In the upper right photo, UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson and Pulaski County Special School District Superintendent Jerry Guess have announced a new concurrent enrollment partnership between UALR and PCSSD that will include Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School, Joe T. Robinson High School, Maumelle High School, and Sylvan Hills High School.