A new program for the 2015-16 school year, College Credit Plus (CC+) replaces the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program and most other existing dual enrollment programs. While the first round of notice and application deadlines have passed for CC+, school responsibilities under the program span the entire school year. School district administrators should be aware of the following:
- Students can provide their school districts with notice of their intent to participate in the program beyond the April 1 deadline. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) 3365.03, a student providing notice to the school district of their intent to participate after April 1 must obtain written consent of their principal to do so. It is at the principal’s discretion to determine whether to allow the student to participate. If the school principal declines to provide written consent, the student may appeal directly to the State Board of Education.
- Superintendents might be asked by home-schooled students to sign funding applications. The Ohio Department of Education extended the deadline for submission of the funding application for home-schooled students this week, and will be accepting applications until June 30. The funding application requires either a copy of the letter excusing the student from compulsory education pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3301-34 or the signature of the superintendent that has excused the student from compulsory education.
- School districts cannot charge students for participation in CC+ at public institutions of higher education (IHEs). School districts are responsible for tuition, textbooks, and required course materials for students attending a public IHE under CC+. If the student attends a private IHE, the student may be responsible for a portion of the cost. Tuition costs will be paid from ODE directly to the IHE for each student, and the district’s foundation formula payments will be reduced by a corresponding amount. R.C. 3365.07 sets ranges for the tuition cost of a credit hour under CC+; the default ceiling for per-credit-hour cost is equal to 83% of per pupil foundation formula amount for the applicable school year, divided by 30. (The amount for FY 16 is to be determined by the pending biennium budget; the amount would be $160.47 per credit hour using FY 15’s formula amount of $5,800.) The default floor is 25% of the default ceiling ($40.11, using FY15’s formula amount). There are no limitations set on costs of books or required course materials.
- Tuition costs for CC+ vary by the manner in which the class is offered. If college faculty teaches the course the CC+ participant is enrolled in at the IHE, tuition cost per credit hour for that course is equal to the ceiling amount. If college faculty teaches the course at the participant’s school, the school district’s tuition cost per credit hour for the class is 50% of the ceiling amount. If CC+ certified school district instructors teach the course at the participant’s school, the school district’s tuition cost per credit hour for that course is the default floor. Teacher credentialing requirements for CC+ are set forth in OAC 3333-1-65.4.
- School districts can negotiate alternative funding arrangements with IHEs. A School district can negotiate cost sharing between IHEs and the district in a manner other than the statutory default on an annual basis (the deadline applicable to the 2015-16 year has already passed). Alternative funding agreements may include provisions relating to per-credit-hour tuition rates, the cost of educational materials, and potential transportation costs for students. Any alternative funding agreement must meet the requirements of OAC 3333-1-65.6 and must be provided to the Ohio Board of Regents no later than February 1 preceding the academic year for which the agreement is effective.
- It is the school district’s responsibility to ensure students do not exceed the credit hours limitations of CC+. The registration period for classes varies by IHE, and each student must enroll according to the IHE’s registration requirements. Students are limited to 30 college credit hours per academic year through CC+, and a total of 120 college credit hours total through CC+. The 120-hour limit applies to all CC+ participants, including those that begin the program in 7th or 8th grade.
- The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OSHAA) has released student athletic eligibility requirement guidelines that incorporate CC+ into the calculation for eligibility. The OSHAA guidelines can be viewed here.
For a full understanding of your school district’s responsibilities under CC+ and suggested policies and procedures to ensure the requirements of CC+ in your district are met, OSBA policy subscribers can check out the following articles from OSBA’s Policy Development Quarterly: