9/18/20 Message Regarding Dual Enrollment Students

September 18, 2020

From Owen Guthrie, executive director of UAF eCampus

UAF has a rich history of providing dual enrollment opportunities for students. This is an important service for students ready for college and we are excited to welcome those eager to join the Nanook Nation. Often, these students academically outperform our traditional cohort of first year students.

Recently, UAF expanded its dual enrollment efforts through two important initiatives: the placed-based middle college, North Star College, and the virtual middle college, the Alaska Advantage Program

How do I know if I have dual enrollment students in my course?

Students who are minors are identified in your course roster in UAOnline. Depending on your course, these students may be North Star College (middle college) students, AHEAD Program students, Advantage Program students, or simply first-year college students who haven’t yet turned 18. To see an individual student’s major status, which may be a better indicator than age, do the following:

  • find your course in UAOnline (identify your semester and CRN). 
  • select “Detail Class List” from the menu. This view will allow you to see detailed information on each of your students (see example).

location of the "Detailed Class List" link

Students’ degree status will be indicated at the bottom of each person’s detailed information. See example below.

Where to find student status in the UAOnline menu

Should I have different expectations of these students? Do I need to adjust my course content?

No. The purpose of dual enrollment is to provide authentic higher education experiences for those who are ready. It is important to set the same expectations for these students as for any other student in the course. There is no expectation that they will be treated differently, and students and their parents are made aware that the content of the course will not be adjusted. At the same time, this is an opportunity to provide a great first experience for a prospective student and is a wonderful tool to recruit students to UAF.

Do I need to communicate with the student’s parents? 

All students who attend UAF are covered by FERPA. You are not allowed to speak to the student’s parents about their performance unless they have signed a FERPA waiver. Dual enrollment students are encouraged to communicate with their instructors directly, and you should communicate with the student in the same way that you would with any other student. 

What/who is an Observer in my Blackboard course? 

For students in the Advantage program, observers are teachers or counselors connected to a particular student, and their role is to support their dedicated student or students. They have very limited Blackboard access - they can only see the academic performance information of the students to whom they are attached, the course syllabus, and assignment due dates. In the vast majority of cases, these facilitators work directly with the student and do not access Blackboard. A more accurate term than ‘observer’ would be success facilitator, but this is the account nomenclature within the Blackboard system which has appropriately limited permissions. 

Observers are attached to students, not courses. For a student with an attached observer, the observer will appear in the course roster for all courses in which the student is enrolled. However, it does not mean that the observer will have course access. 

In Blackboard, under Course Management, you will find an item called Guest and Observer Access. Within, there are two radio buttons. One allows guest access and the other allows observer access. If a student has an observer attached to them, and if "Allow observers to access this course?" is set to "No", observers will still appear in the roster, but they will not actually have access to the course. 

However, please be aware that these facilitators greatly improve student success. During the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters, student success rates in the Advantage program were 91% and 96% respectively. Facilitators help with things like reading the syllabus, understanding assignment due dates, and managing the Blackboard learning curve. Successful dual enrollment students often become successful UAF alum.

Thank you very much for all your work with your dual enrollment students. These are, hopefully, our students of tomorrow. You play the most important part in helping to make their first college experience a successful one. 

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Bristor, Alaska Advantage Coordinator, at albristor@alaska.edu or 474-7412, or Misti Hopkins, North Star College Coordinator, at mlhopkins2@alaska.edu or 474-7790.