Fewer Janesville high school students are asking to take courses at Blackhawk Technical College and UW-Whitewater.

But that doesn’t mean fewer students are taking courses for college credit, Janesville School District officials say.

On Tuesday, Kolleen Onsrud, the district’s curriculum coordinator, will ask the school board to approve funding for 538 college credits at Blackhawk Technical College, UW-Whitewater and Madison Area Technical College.

Wisconsin school districts are required to pay for high school students to take courses at universities and technical colleges.

To deny a student’s request for a college-level class, the district must offer a course that has at least 80 percent of the same material, Onsrud said in her memo, which was included in the board’s meeting packet.

The number of students requesting college courses this fall has dropped for the first time in 10 years.

Last year at this time, 91 students requested 288 technical college credits and 152 four-year college credits. This year, 79 students are requesting 398 technical college credits and 140 four-year college credits.

One of the district’s five promises—or goals—reads like this: “90 percent of graduates will successfully complete an Advanced Placement, transcripted, industry credential or dual-enrollment credit class.”

The drop in students asking for college-level courses doesn’t mean fewer students are pursing advanced coursework, Onsrud clarified in an email to The Gazette.

“I believe (the drop) is due to the increasing number of opportunities that our students are taking advantage of, such as dual-credit courses,” Onsrud wrote. “We continue to advertise and make students and parents aware of those opportunities.”

A dual-credit course is usually taken at the high school and counts for both college and high school credit.

Also Tuesday, the school board will:

  • Hear the results of a salary study. According to a memo in the board packet, only a handful of positions were out of line with similar positions in other districts.
  • Hear a presentation from Superintendent Steven Pophal about state funding for schools.

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