Advocacy Update – 8.25.22 – ODE Gifted Regional Meetings; CCP Performance Audit Results

ODE Fall Gifted Regional Meetings – The Ohio Department of Education gifted team has released their schedule for fall regional meetings. They are both in-person and virtual. District administrators responsible for gifted education programs are invited to learn about gifted education guidance and updates from Department representatives. Meeting topics include gifted education funding, supports and monitoring for gifted education and gifted education policy initiatives and strategic planning.

Registration information for in-person meetings:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, Southwest Region, Montgomery County ESC, click here to register

Thursday, Sept. 15, Central Region, ESC of Central Ohio, click here to register;

Friday, Sept. 16, Southeast Region, Ohio Valley ESC, click here to register

Monday, Sept. 19, Northwest Region, ESC of Lake Erie West, click here to register

Monday, Sept. 26, Northeast Region, ESC of Northeast Ohio, click here to register

Information for virtual meetings (no registration required):

Monday, Sept. 12, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Gifted Education Policy Initiatives and Strategic Planning, click here to access meeting 

Monday, Sept. 12, 11:00 a.m. to Noon, Gifted Education Funding, click here to access meeting

Monday, Sept. 12, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Gifted Education Supports and Monitoring, click here to access meeting

Friday, Sept. 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Gifted Education Supports and Monitoring (encore session), click here to access meeting  

Friday, Sept. 23, 11:00 a.m. to Noon, Gifted Education Policy Initiatives and Strategic Planning (encore session), click here to access meeting 

Friday, Sept. 23, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Gifted Education Funding (encore session), click here to access meeting

* Hosted by the Ohio Department of Education on Microsoft Teams

If you have additional questions, please contact gifted@education.ohio.gov.

State Auditor Releases Performance Audit of the College Credit Plus Program – Key findings of the audit included: 

1. For students that graduated from Ohio high schools in 2016, the college enrollment rate was 46 percent higher amongst CCP participants than the statewide average. Further, once these students enrolled in college, the retention rate from year one to year two for CCP students was 48 percent higher than the statewide average. 

2. As of 2021, nearly 8,000 associate degrees and certificates had been awarded to CCP students while they were still in high school. The average CCP student saves approximately $4,400 in tuition, fee, and textbook costs. 

3. While, nationally, participation in dual enrollment programs has been shown to close equity gaps for economically disadvantaged and minority students, this has not been the case in Ohio due to several factors. 

4. While CCP has achieved the initial program goals of improving overall participation rates and minimizing barriers for students, there are no formal goals and objectives to guide the future of the program. Data collected by ODHE and ODE, if used strategically, could be used to design forward-facing plans to increase access to the program in underserved populations, expand overall participation and, respond to the evolving needs of Ohio’s future workforce and economy. 

The state auditor’s office recommended the following based on the review: 

1. ODE and ODHE should take a larger role in the marketing, communication, and compliance of the program. As a part of this, the Departments should consider, using rule writing authority if necessary, developing standard communication forms that Districts would be required to use to eliminate confusion regarding the use of state funding for the program. Ensuring consistent communication and marketing of the CCP program and offering clear CCP enrollment forms will help to increase program participation. 

2. College courses can be taken through CCP on a college or university campus, in a high school setting, or online. Currently, the CCP delivery methods that are the most easily accessible to students are those models which are held at a high school campus. In order to improve overall CCP participation rates, school districts should work to increase the number of classes available in the high school setting. 

3. The General Assembly provided grant funding for the purpose of increasing the number of CCP credentialed high school teachers which was jointly administered by ODE and ODHE. Grantees received funding through a reimbursement of expenses once claims were verified by ODE. However, the law did not grant ODE the authority to require that individuals complete the credentialing process. This means that grant funding may not be maximized as individuals may ultimately choose to not seek out credentialing. If future grants are awarded, ODE and ODHE should work with the General Assembly to require the attainment of CCP instructor credentials as a condition of the award, along with a required service period. 

4. To improve program participation of underrepresented student populations, ODE and ODHE should work to minimize barriers to participation such as limited access to support services and high speed internet for these students. 

5. For those students who choose to attend CCP courses at a college or university, there is little to no program specific orientation available to them. While colleges and universities have orientation programs for traditional students, new CCP students may not benefit from those to the same degree as orientations specifically tailored to them. ODE and ODHE should work with colleges and universities to ensure there is a robust and uniform orientation program for CCP participants. 

6. The CCP program does not have distinct, progressive, measurable program goals supported by routine data analysis and evaluation. As appropriate program oversight is established and data collection is enhanced to include outcome data, formal goals and metrics should be developed to ensure desired programmatic outcomes are being achieved and to identify areas for improvement.

7. The laws governing do not identify who is responsible for overall program oversight. ODHE, ODE, and the CCP advisory committee should work with the General Assembly to clarify and strengthen the management, oversight, and compliance monitoring functions necessary to allow CCP to reach its potential. In doing so, they should consider what structures and resources will be necessary to continue to monitor and improve the program in order to provide strategic direction that will support the evolving needs of Ohio’s students, economy, and workforce. 

8. While the data collection practices used by ODHE and ODE are generally good in comparison to peer states, there is room for improvement. In some cases, there are data fields that are incomplete, particularly as it relates to demographic information, and data that is inconsistent in nature, such as identifying the type of courses being taken. This type of information is critical in identifying where program improvements could be made. Both ODHE and ODE should work to ensure that the CCP data collected is both complete and consistent. 

9. When a student takes college courses through the CCP program, ODE directs payment to the college or university based on a default rate that is specified in ORC. The default rate varies based on the delivery model and contains both a maximum and minimum charge. The current formula that establishes the default rate uses a set dollar amount identified in ORC as a baseline and has not been significantly updated since the program first began. The General Assembly should review the default payment rates to ensure that they appropriately reflect the current cost to IHE’s to provide CCP courses to students. 

10. In addition to CCP participation fees, school districts are also required by law to cover the costs of textbooks, which can be costly. One way to reduce the impact of purchasing textbooks is through the use of open educational resources (OER), which are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media and digital assets including college textbooks, online supplements, etc. While efforts have been made to expand opportunities for the use of open educational resources in the state, their current utilization appears to be limited. The General Assembly should require ODE and ODHE promote opportunities to increase the use of OER materials among CCP participants and could consider splitting the cost of educational materials between colleges and universities and high schools. 

Click at the following link to get the full report:  https://ohioauditor.gov/performance/college-credit-plus.html