High Schools & UK Dual Credit Programs

Dual Credit ProgramMany high school students take advantage of the University of Kentucky’s rich curricular offerings by enrolling in UK courses while finishing up their high school diplomas. This option for high school students is currently available and details about this opportunity for exceptional high schoolers can be found on the UK Undergraduate Admissions website:

However, this tradition in dual enrollment could be more adequately supported if offered within a formalized dual credit program. UK faculty and college leadership are encouraged to offer qualified students the opportunity to earn college credit as part of their high school curriculum. The purpose of a formal UK Dual Credit Program is to provide academic enrichment opportunities to high school students who are ready for the rigors and challenges of coursework in a research university. Download the Kentucky Department of Education's Dual Credit 101 (February 2017) handbook here.

In addition, the Program serves as an immersive professional development opportunity for our partner secondary school educators and counselors who learn first-hand the transitions issues inherent in the success of their students moving on to a public Research I university. For UK Faculty the benefits in crafting a formal dual credit program include:

  • UK faculty are responsible for regular oversight of courses offered to high schoolers - and their effectiveness for student progress at UK - providing a more coherent progress to a UK degree.
  • UK's professional advisors in Undergraduate Studies are responsible for intrusive intervention when a high schooler takes a UK course, providing a more rigorous and consistent advisement including an academic career plan based on that student's overall preparedness for UK (not just test scores and grades).
  • UK’s outreach programs which currently deliver challenging and innovative programming in Kentucky schools will provide a seamless pathway to admission to the state’s flagship institution and offer especially those high caliber students with low socio-economic status and/or underrepresented minority status who are excelling in those learning experiences to continue in their academic career with nationally ranked faculty here at UK.
  • UK’s students who are continually enrolled in a UK dual credit program and who transition from non-degree-seeking status after high school graduation to a full-time degree-seeking status at UK will be counted as first-time freshmen and thus included in UK’s official retention and graduation rates, helping to raise UK’s national standings.

A UK Dual Credit Program builds an academic connection between the UK faculty of a particular department and an accredited high school. (See the next page describing common terms used.) This connection allows students to take a course while in high school and get both high school and UK credit for it. (See the next page for a "lifecycle" description for departments who seek to offer a dual credit course and establish a dual credit partnership.) NOTE: High school students and their families may be taking dual credit courses from multiple providers - including private/independent or proprietary institutions. It is important that they are reminded of which courses transfer successfully (and for what kind of credit) to UK - or how their UK courses transfer to the college where they ultimately matriculate. Information on transferability of college courses should be researched early in the high school student's academic career. See more on this at the Kentucky KnowHow2Transfer website: http://knowhow2goky.org/kh2t.

This opportunity for high school students should be transparent in its academic rigor and review. The process and procedures should flow as naturally within UK’s department and college curriculum development and review process as possible. Documentation supporting that effort would be archived in the department, college and Undergraduate Council. In addition, the UK Department associated with the course must evaluate it according to its own policies, which it might tailor to specifically address the quality and academic rigor of dual credit courses. The sponsoring UK Department may require more than the guidelines suggested 70% course coverage or may require the use of common exams. If the dual-credit course fulfills any prerequisites for other UK courses, including prerequisites fulfilled by courses cross-listed with the one the student took, the UK department faculty needs to make sure that the course prepares its students adequately. The UK department faculty may set a grade hurdle for successful completion of a dual-credit course that serves as a prerequisite for other UK courses. (See the next steps in deployment section for offering the dual credit course in a particular semester.)

Course evaluation and review for a dual-credit course must at least satisfy SACS policy and guidelines, which include evidence of continual improvement. The Provost's Office and the Division of Student and Academic Life will oversee the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for a Dual Credit Initiative and submits the original document to The Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The Division of Undergraduate Education will periodically review the central repository of dual credit initiatives and request information from the departments regarding the status of their periodic reviews with the dual credit partners. (See the Review/Oversight page for more information.)

UK Dual Credit Partnerships - approved by University Senate and administered/overseen by the Provost's Office

Currently, the University has the following dual credit partnerships established where UK courses are offered to eligible students enrolled at selected high schools:

  • Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) - STEAM Academy
    Memorandum of Agreement (2013) and the Renewal (revised with new provisos - 2016)
    and the following UK courses have been approved by the Undergraduate Council as dual credit courses for the purposes of earning UK credit and credit toward high school graduation in the FCPS:
    • UK 110, PASS/FAIL UNIVERSITY-WIDE COURSE (pilot course designed by Dr. Laurie Henry, College of Education, specifically for high schoolers: "Orientation and Introduction to UK") - approved by Undergraduate Council on 10/10/2013
    • CIS 110, Composition and Communication I (fulfills a UK Core requirement in C&C) - approved by Undergraduate Council on 12/23/2015
    • EES 110, Endangered Planet, Intro To Environmental Geology - approved by Undergraduate Council on 12/23/2015
    • SOC 101, Intro to Sociology (fulfills a UK Core requirement in Intellectual Inquiry in Social Sciences) - approved by Undergraduate Council on 12/23/2015
    • EGR 101: Engineering Exploration - approved by Undergraduate Council on 5/10/2016
    • EGR 102: Fundamentals of Engineering Computing - approved by Undergraduate Council on 5/10/2016
    • EGR 103: Engineering Exploration II - approved by Undergraduate Council on 5/10/2016
    • EDU 300: Robotics - approved by Undergraduate Council on 5/10/2016
    • KHP 230: Human Health and Wellness - approved by Undergraduate Council on 5/10/2016
  • Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) for a pilot offering of selected courses to students eligible for the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program
    • MA 109, College Algebra
      approved by Undergraduate Council on 11/15/2016
    • MA 111, Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics
      approved by Undergraduate Council on 11/15/2016
    • WRD 110, Composition and Communication 1
      approved by Undergraduate Council on 11/15/2016
    • WRD 111, Composition and Communication 2
      approved by Undergraduate Council on 11/15/2016

While these UK courses may be offered to eligible students in the above high schools, not all the courses are offered by the UK department faculty every semester. For more information, contact Dr. Kirsten Turner in the Provost's Office at 859-323-5325 or email kirsten.turner@uky.edu.