INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 25, 2015)-- New education requirements could be sending teachers back to school by 2017.
“It is going to be a topic of conversation throughout the state and the country. We think that it is not really headed in the right direction,” said Ivy Tech Community College president Tom Snyder.
Indiana teachers are not currently required to earn a master's degree, However these new rules from the accreditation group for Indiana colleges will force any instructor that teaches for college credit to have 18 credit hours in a master’s program in that subject. Educators say many teachers will not meet these new requirements and could leave teachers throughout the state under qualified for their current position.
“Our professors can guide and lead high school teachers without making them go back to school and get a master’s degree,” says Snyder.
The impact will ultimately be felt by students who will be unable to take courses for college credit if these rules hold up. 50,000 students received dual credit last year at Ivy Tech. The state of Indiana law requires high schools to offer at least two dual credit courses.
“We think this would severely limit the ability of our students in Indiana to lower the cost of their college education,” says Snyder.
The cost savings are significant. Last year, Hoosier high school students saved $40 million in college tuition costs just from Ivy Tech.
Now, the higher education commission wants to look at ways to change these rules. They believe there could be change before the rules are set in stone.
“Our goal is to make sure that all kids have access to dual credit. That they have access to affordable dual credit classes and that those opportunities are of the highest quality,” said Stephanie Wilson with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.