What is Eastern Promise?

Eastern Promise is a commitment and promise between and among Eastern Oregon University, Blue Mountain Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, and the InterMountain Education Service District to work with, collaborate with, and partner with PK-12 Schools to promote the values of education and to advance the number of students who graduate from High School in rural Oregon ready to attend, and eventually graduate, from a post-secondary educational institution.

How does Eastern Promise support Oregon’s 40-40-20 initiative?

The 40-40-20 goal declares that by 2025, Oregon will ensure that 40 percent of adults will have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher; that 40 percent of adults will have earned an associate degree or post-secondary credential; and 20 percent of adults will have earned a high school diploma, modified high school diploma or the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The Eastern Promise supports 40-40-20 by:

  • Increasing the number of students from rural Oregon who are prepared for and attend college directly from high school;
  • Increasing the number of students who obtain the Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) and/or the Associates of Art Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degrees;
  • Increasing the number of BMCC and TVCC students who earn degrees or certificates and remain in rural eastern Oregon;
  • Increasing the number of BMCC and TVCC students who successfully transfer to EOU or other four-year institutions; and
  • Increasing the number of EOU students who graduate with a bachelor’s or advanced degree and live in rural Oregon.
What programs and types of credit are available?

Currently, students have three pathways or programs for earning college credit while still in high school.  These are: (1) Advanced Placement credit-by-exam, (2) traditional dual credit, and (3) expanded dual enrollment.

The first existing pathway for access to early college credits for Oregon high school students is through Advanced Placement (AP) examinations taken as the culmination of Advanced Placement courses offered in high schools.

The second pathway to early college credit, traditional dual credit, entails high school students earning college credit for specific courses they are taking for their high school credit.  Courses offered for dual credit at a given community college or university must 1) be built around the specific learning outcomes for the similar post-secondary course, and 2) must be taught by a high school teacher who meets  the specific criteria for serving as an adjunct faculty member at the relevant community college or university.

The third pathway accessible to Oregon high school students, expanded dual enrollment, centers on offering community college and/or university courses at high schools and at post-secondary sites. This third option holds significant potential for the Eastern Promise, given the ability of EOU, BMCC, and TVCC to offer appropriate programming to rural schools via distance learning technologies.

Taken together, these three existing pathways offering Oregon high school students access to early college credits form an increasingly important resource for efforts throughout the state, whether coordinated under the Eastern Promise or not, toward 40/40/20 goals.

Introducing the Fourth Pathway

This fourth pathway would allow high school teachers with a master’s degree (either in education or in another discipline) to teach high school classes using college-level learning outcomes and a college designated curriculum.  At the end of the term, students would be assessed by multiple measurements to demonstrate their competence or “proficiency” in the college-level learning outcomes.  If the  students’ demonstration of proficiency meets the standard at a determined level of mastery, they would be awarded college credits.

Quality would be controlled by aligning the high school classes with the college learning outcomes, using the same teaching materials as the colleges, creating Professional Learning Communities between high school and college instructors, and maintaining confidence the proficiency assessments were safeguarded and current. This program also insures that only high school students with the ability to benefit would be placed in the dual credit courses to help assure a satisfactory rate of success and therefore continued offering of the courses by the provisionally qualified instructor.

Colleges and universities participating in this program would ensure high school instructors were prepared to use the appropriate learning outcomes.

What are Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)? 

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a blend of high school, college and university faculty who are charged with the development and assessment of curricular proficiencies in the Eastern Promise model.  These PLCs meet regularly to work on proficiency development and at scheduled times meet to assess the proficiency work of the students.

Is my school eligible to participate?

Eastern Promise is a partnership between EOU, BMCC, TVCC and IMESD with the objective to 1) build a college going culture in the region and 2) provide early college credit opportunities to student in secondary schools.
Because of these partnerships (EOU, BMCC, TVCC, IMESD) high schools will register for credit classes through their geographical regions.

All high schools in these regions are eligible to participate in Eastern Promise sponsored “credit by proficiency” and dual credit opportunities.

What is the eligibility criteria for faculty? 

To be eligible to be “authorized” to teach credit by proficiency courses through Eastern Promise, high school teachers must meet several requirements:

  1. Be approved by their high school administration and their respective partner in higher education (i.e. EOU, BMCC, TVCC)
  2. Have taught in the discipline or related subject area for at least three years
  3. Have a master’s degree, preferably in their teaching discipline
  4. Attend an Eastern Promise training session in their discipline conducted by the appropriate Eastern Promise Professional Learning Community (PLC)
  5. Become an active member of the PLC
  6. Renew authorization annually, and be willing to allow college and university faculty to assess their performance
What is the eligibility criteria for students? 
  1. Generally be 16 years of age or a junior in high school – Success 101 students will be 15 and usually a freshman
  2. Be selected and approved by the high school (administration and faculty) to participate in a sponsored dual credit course
  3. Be prepared academically (placement tests, prerequisites, etc.) to be successful in college level work
How do I register for courses? 

For Eastern Promise participants in credit by proficiency courses that are conducted during the first semester, registration will take place during the college/university winter term. For second semester classes, registration will take place during spring term.

How are courses graded? 

All Eastern Promise courses will by default be graded A-F. If individual students choose to take a class as Pass/Fail, they should be aware that these may not be accepted as satisfying university/college requirements at many institutions.

Eastern Promise sponsored dual credit courses require a minimum score of 70% to achieve an acceptable passing grade (“C” or better). Students may receive two attempts to achieve a passing score on the proficiency assessment. After two attempts, they will be required to repeat the class and re-register. The two attempts must take place in the term of registration.

If a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” on the proficiency assessment, this grade will remain on their transcript unless they re-register and achieve a passing score (70% or better). A repeat must be completed at the same college or university to receive a change of grade on a transcript.

How can I get involved?

Contact the Eastern Promise office at EOU or your local school administration.

Eastern Promise
Laurie Powell