The Louisiana Board of Regents on Monday approved new rules governing how high school students earn college credit.

The credit, called dual enrollment, is supposed to mirror classes taken by college students.

However, Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo and others questioned whether all the courses carry the needed rigor.

Under one of the changes, dual enrollment instructors who are not college faculty will have to undergo training by the college on how to deliver and grade the course.

That stems from concerns that even instructors who meet the technical requirements may not be suitable for teaching a college class.  

The new rules were praised by a wide range of education officials.

During a joint meeting of the regents and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, state Superintendent of Education John White applauded the new rules.

So did Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association.

Richard and White rarely agree on key public school issues.

In a statement, Richard said the changes will not disrupt programs that local school boards have invested in.

He said the new rules also give higher education and public schools the flexibility to address special cases, like courses for at-risk students or those pursuing career and technical education programs.

Rallo noted that dual enrollment is gaining popularity.

In 2009, about 9,600 students took the courses compared to more than 23,000 now, including private school students.

Another change will require students who need remediation in English or math to be doing so while they are taking dual enrollment courses.

That means students who score less than an 18 in ACT/English can enroll in a math class for dual enrollment if they are also addressing their reading or writing deficiencies.

Those who score less than a 19 on ACT/math can enroll in an English, foreign language, history or humanities class for dual enrollment if they are also addressing their math deficiencies.


Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.