Digital technology is putting a new perspective on courses for Marshall County High School students. With the University of Kentucky's new dual credit program, taught by both high school teachers and UK professors, students can earn both high school and college credits.

Through this new program at the university, juniors and seniors at some Kentucky high schools, including Marshall County, can become UK Next Generation Scholars, taking "live" UK classes in which college instructors help teach the courses via interactive video.

Typically, in dual credit courses, a high school instructor teaches the college material, but the UK model partners college faculty with high school teachers and allows for virtual "face-to-face" instruction.

The dual credit approach was developed by the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership at the UK College of Education.

"Schools are paying particular attention to what it takes to prepare students to meet the demands of a fast-changing career landscape," said Lu Young, Center for Next Generation Leadership Executive director and associate clinical professor in the UK College of Education. "School leaders who are part of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership Network tell us they joined the effort to help all students develop 21st century skills and have a smoother transition to college and careers, and we see dual credit as a way to help pave that path."

In the decade since the center began at UK, hundreds of Kentucky school leaders have worked with the center to redesign the school experience for contemporary life, learning, and careers.

"Offering dual credit became a logical next step for these schools as they work to improve the high school experience and better prepare students for college transitions," said Justin Bathon, co-director of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership, and an associate professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the UK College of Education.

Four of the schools that have participated in UK's Center for Next Generation Leadership Academy are serving as pilot sites for the dual credit initiative: Paris Independent High School, Marshall County High School, Elkhorn Crossing School in Scott County, and STEAM Academy in Fayette County.

Additional high schools will be added in Fall 2021.

Students taking dual credit courses from UK will have an advisor from the UK Next Generation Leadership Academy who checks in on their progress, helps complete college applications and supporting materials, and promotes a successful transition to college.

"We have several great dual credit partners, but to give our students the opportunity to enroll at the University of Kentucky is fantastic, "says Trent Lovett, superintendent of Marshall County Schools. "The support our students are receiving from UK along with added support from our staff will help to set our students up for success at the college level." Patricia Greer, the principal at Marshall County High School, echoed similar beliefs stating "It is always exciting when we can offer opportunities for our students beyond our walls. This enables students to have the best parts of both worlds. Our staff is able to co-teach with the University of Kentucky faculty and our students are benefitting from both instructors. Dual credit opportunities are especially valuable for our students by allowing them to earn college credit and preparing them for the future."

Next Gen Scholars will apply for admission to UK as non-degree seeking students. They can take up to a maximum of 10 UK courses while in high school. The UK courses will be delivered both online and by high school teachers who have been trained by UK faculty to teach the curricula. Tuition for courses in the dual credit program, in alignment with state determined dual credit rates, may be paid by either the school or the student, as determined by each district's policy. Districts will be expected to provide tuition support to qualifying free or reduced lunch students per the CPE policy.

UK colleges contributing to the available courses include:

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Communication and Information

College of Design

College of Education

Additional information about UK's dual credit program can be found at www.uky.edu/sal/dual-credit.