Local school leaders support new bill to help transfer college credits

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Delegate Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave) has filed his first bill for the 2018 General Assembly session, and it's designed to hopefully make it easier for high school students to transfer dual enrollment (DE) courses from high school to a two or four-year state school.

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House Bill 3 aims to create "universal transfer courses" for dual enrollment, meaning, regardless of which state college or university a student goes to, they can take a dual enrollment class in high school and receive the same college credit.

Right now, different universities count dual enrollment courses differently. That's something local school leaders see as an issue.

"It should be consistent," said Dr. Scott Kizner, the superintendent of Harrisonburg City Public Schools. "In my judgement, if a student meets the expectation, passes the class, he or she should be able to apply to any university in Virginia and those classes should be accepted."

Dr. Kizner says the bill would also create a universal DE curriculum for the entire Commonwealth, so each high school would teach the same dual enrollment content. Right now, with dual enrollment classes offered at different high schools through different local colleges or universities, the curriculum varies tremendously by each class.

Both Kizner and Landes say this new legislation will save students time and money in the long run. Kizner says Harrisonburg High Dchool charges $30 per credit hour, whereas colleges can cost in the hundreds.

In 2015, Delegate Landes also introduced House Bill 1336, which did become law, and required a uniform policy for receiving undergraduate course credit for Advanced Placement, Cambridge advanced, College Level Examination Program or International Baccalaureate Examination programs.