Despite offering students the chance to earn college credit in high school, enrollment in dual-credit courses at the Killeen Independent School District decreased from the previous school year.

A presentation at a joint meeting of board members from the district and Central Texas College revealed 410 students participate in dual-credit classes this school year, down from 610 last year.

“From the administrative standpoint, we do want our dual enrollment up and we are watching it very closely,” said Robert Muller, Killeen ISD superintendent.

The dual-credit program is a partnership between Killeen ISD and Central Texas College to offer students who meet qualifications to take college level courses for credit during high school. The dual-credit courses are offered in multiple subjects such as English, history and math, and students can take them in person and online. The courses are taught by Killeen ISD and CTC staff and the credits earned are transferable to every public college or university in Texas.

According to the data presented at the meeting by Susan Buckley, KISD’s director of secondary curriculum and professional development, and Angela Reese, CTC’s director of public education and distance learning operations, 3,597 students have participated in dual-credit courses since the program started in 2006.

However, that same data showed the number of students participating began declining in 2011-2012, when the number dropped to 610 from 655 the previous school year.

Muller said the district was sure why the number dropped.

“We are exploring that question,” he said. “One reason is that our senior class is a little smaller than in previous years.”

Thomas Klincar, CTC’s chancellor, said a recent initiative that offers a monetary incentive to students who take Advanced Placement exams might be a factor.

Students who score three out of five or above on an AP exam earns $100 through the National Math and Science Initiative. High scores on the exams also give students college credit.

“The chance of getting that $100 check is a great enticement,” Klincar told the meeting’s attendees.

While there may be fewer students enrolled in dual credit, a greater percentage are passing their courses.

According to data presented at the meeting, the passing rate for dual-credit courses was about 95 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, up from 94 percent the year before.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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