Pandemic Information & Guidance | GCTC

Pandemic Information & Guidance

Dual Credit Task Force Fall guidance 

updated 7/16/20

Delivering dual credit this fall will be a challenge as colleges and school districts navigate the COVID-19 health guidelines. Start dates and course delivery methods will vary among colleges and school districts. Close and frequent communication between the secondary and postsecondary partners is more critical than ever to ensure success for dual credit students.  Most KCTCS colleges work with multiple school districts, each with their own plan, strategies for delivering instruction, challenges and needs to deliver dual credit. The purpose of this guide is to support dual credit partnerships.  Dual credit partners should be aware of the options available to school districts, share resources and provide guidance on how to deliver dual credit while meeting accrediting and college requirements. 


KDE has encouraged schools to prepare for three contingencies for the start of the school year:

  1. A traditional opening while following guidance from the Kentucky Department for Public Health,
  2. Beginning the school year online by utilizing the department’s Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) Program, or
  3. An adjusted model that would blend both a traditional and electronic opening

KDE has also released a number of guidance documents, available at the KDE COVID-19 webpage. The following are of particular note:

KCTCS colleges will be offering fall term classes in a variety of formats including fully online classes as well as face-to-face classes and some options that are a mixture of both. Face-to-face classes will have a strong online or remote instruction component, so if in-person classes must pivot to online, everyone is prepared. KCTCS will offer a variety of scheduling options, including 16-week, 12-week, and 8-week sessions. For additional information, please see the KCTCS Welcome Back Plan.

GUIDANCE

  • Students should adhere to the schedule and guidelines based on where they are taking their dual credit course.  If the course is delivered at the high school, they will follow the high school schedule and instruction mode/s.  If the course is delivered at the college, they will follow the college schedule and instruction mode/s.
  • Each district should continue to work closely with their partner colleges offering the dual credit coursework to students.  Students and dual credit instructors must follow all rules and policies established by the colleges for their students during the COVID-19 crisis.  This includes continuing to offer new content to students and having students continue to complete their college courses in a remote learning environment.
  • Dual credit courses should be offered on a semester bases and should follow the regular college semester as closely as possible.
  • School districts should notify their partner colleges as soon as possible regarding their plan for opening in the fall and their plans for delivering instruction.
  • Colleges are required to request an out of term parameter exception for any course that does not follow the college semester calendar. We believe most high schools will fall in this category, so we ask you to proactively work with your college contact to determine those dates as soon as possible.
  • KCTCS utilizes Blackboard as its learning management system.  KCTCS is requiring all courses be set up in Blackboard in the event campuses must close again and move to remote learning. 
  • Consider offering asynchronous courses for remote learning.
  • Develop a plan for how course outcomes will be met in a remote environment. Ideally students should be able to continue their course in Blackboard, but if they do not have online access or if they have lab and/or clinical requirements, determine what options are available to them?
  • Each partner must notify the other of any closures and/or moving to remote instruction. Partners are expected to negotiate how students should complete courses in the event of any disruption to their schedule.
  • Colleges should provide discipline specific faculty liaisons so that high schools can connect and ask questions, get guidance, and receive information specific to that discipline in the event the course must go remote.  

GUIDING QUESTIONS:

We encourage dual credit partnerships to be proactive in thinking through and developing plans for challenges that may arise due to the pandemic. Below are some suggested questions for partnerships to discuss. 

  • How will enrollment be handled for students who will be taking courses at the college, but the high school start date is later than the college start date?
  • For concurrent enrollment courses, will students have enough time to complete the course if the high school delays the start of the semester and there are fewer than 16 weeks for the student to complete the course?
  • If a high school needs to close, but the college remains open, what is the expectation for students who are taking courses at the college? If transportation is provided to students, will that remain available?
  • Is the college able to accept the same number of enrollments from the high school as before the pandemic given social distancing requirements?
  • Many KCTCS colleges are looking at alternative course scheduling and calendars, such as going remote after Thanksgiving, finishing courses by Thanksgiving, and eliminating fall breaks. How will that impact dual credit delivery?
  • Do all high school students have access to Internet and devices to be able to learn in a remote setting if needed?

TOOLBOX:

  • For face to face courses, use a course manager model where a full-time college faculty member serves as contact point for everyone who teaches the course.  They provide, disseminate and collect syllabi (which are pre-populated), order textbooks, answer curriculum questions, and collect student learning outcomes.  
  • For online courses, use a master course approach provided by the college.  The master course is replicated and assigned to faculty, so the support and consistency is part of the design.  For courses with multiple sections, mostly general education courses, there is an assigned course manager to disseminate any college syllabi (which are pre-populated), provide support, answer curriculum questions, and collect student learning outcomes.   During the pandemic, some faculty may choose to copy the shell for the online course into their face to face Blackboard shell.
  • When possible, lab work should be front-loaded to minimize disruptions to instruction should learning pivot to remote.
  • Utilize the remote teaching resources available to many of the technical programs.  
  • Even if a course is meeting in person, utilize Blackboard as much as possible to get students used to working in that platform.
  • If a student is unable to complete a course because it moved to remote instruction, the college may give the student an Incomplete or In Progress grade at the end of the semester and allow them to complete at a later date.
    • Incomplete means the coursework remains unfinished. The instructor and student will have to contract expectations for completion of the course within one year. If the course is not completed within a year, the grade will be converted to an “E” which represents unsatisfactory achievement and indicates failure in the course.
    • In Progress represents enrollment in a course for which there is no expectation the work will be completed in the assigned term. The student is expected to continue and complete the course work in the next term and the IP grade will be replaced with the final grade.

CONTACTS

Harmony Little, Director of Career Pathways
Chancellor’s Office
Kentucky Community & Technical College System
harmony.little@kctcs.edu

Kiley Whitaker, Assistant Director
Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement
Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition
Kentucky Department of Education
kiley.whitaker@education.ky.gov

A copy of this pandemic information and guidance is available as a PDF for download