P20The Illinois P–20 Council Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Committee has released a report that contains recommendations to the Illinois P–20 Council School, College, and Career Readiness (SCCR) Committee regarding how to incentivize more high school teachers to receive their certification or credential requirements in order to teach dual credit courses in high school.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will require by September 2017 that high school teachers who teach dual credit courses must hold a master’s degree in the specialty they teach or a minimum of 18 graduate-level credit hours within that specialty. The TLE Committee explored what actions could be taken by the state and school districts to encourage more high school teachers to receive the qualifications necessary to teach dual credit courses or to pursue opportunities to teach these courses.

The TLE Committee explored the landscape of what was happening in the field through meetings and webinars, and the committee produced and disseminated four surveys for teachers, principals, superintendents and school board members. ZIP codes were collected to gather geographical information and voluntary contact information was solicited for possible follow-up focus groups. Over 1600 persons participated in these surveys and the results are contained in the report.

The findings from these surveys suggest Illinois must improve how it recruits, develops, places, supports, and incentivizes teachers to become credentialed to teach dual credit courses. Additionally, the findings suggest that there are teachers qualified to teach dual credit courses but are not teaching these courses. Lastly, the findings suggest that districts need to take into consideration the qualification and needs of their students to determine the gaps in courses offered in their districts.