Qualified Concurrent Enrollment instructors’ level of education credential has no significant impact on student success

The Utah System of Higher Education released a report reviewing the performance of students who took a Concurrent Enrollment math course(s) during 2016-17, who then took a subsequent math course during 2017-18 as freshmen on a college campus.

It was found that 78% of students who took a CE math course(s) during 2016-17 and subsequently enrolled in a math course during the 2017-18 academic year as a student at a USHE institution earned a grade of C or higher in the subsequent math course. It was also found that there is not a significant difference in the passing rate of the subsequent math course when the student took CE math from a faculty member who held a bachelor’s degree with a qualifying Level 4 Mathematics endorsement, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D in mathematics.

The report comes after Utah SB 196 from the 2015 General Session challenged the Utah Board of Regents to increase the number of students who complete their General Education Quantitative Literacy (QL) requirement senior year of high school.

USHE math departments developed robust professional development programs to engage new educators in the Math 1030, 1040, and 1050 curriculum, more CE QL Math options were made available, and the number of students completing their QL requirement through CE has increased as a result of SB 196 initiatives.

USHE collected data for this report from public higher education institutions on the education credentials of their math faculty so that the performance of students in subsequent math courses could be studied relative to the education credentials of the faculty member who taught the original CE math course(s).

In the report, faculty were divided into categories based on their credentials. The majority of CE students who enrolled in a subsequent math course received their CE math instruction from a faculty member who held a Ph.D. or a Master’s degree in mathematics (excluding a Master’s in Math Education).

USHE also conducted a study in 2017 to determine the course rigor of CE math classes. This was done to see if there was a difference in outcomes for students who took a CE math class and then enrolled in a traditional math class on campus. Based on the findings of this study, CE math classes are as successful at preparing students for success as traditional math courses on campus.

Both of these studies show that CE math classes, regardless of the qualifying instructor’s level of education credential, are an effective way to prepare students for success in additional postsecondary math study.

Recently, HB 291 was introduced during the 2019 Legislative Session which amends provisions related to instructors for concurrent enrollment courses which requires the Board of Regents to establish a policy by July 1, 2019, describing required qualifications for an individual to be an eligible instructor for a CE course. Currently, educators who hold an upper-level math endorsement, authorized by the Utah State Board of Education and appended to a license that qualifies the educator to teach calculus, shall be qualified to teach CE mathematics courses.See the full report.