HOUSE BILL 256
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
G. Andrés Romero
RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION; CREATING A THREE-YEAR PILOT PROJECT TO DETERMINE THE EFFICACY OF A HYBRID DUAL CREDIT INSTRUCTION MODEL FOR PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS AND PROVIDING GRADUATE CREDIT TO PARTICIPATING TEACHERS TO QUALIFY AS ADJUNCT FACULTY TEACHING DUAL CREDIT COURSES; USING CYBERSECURITY COURSES TO TEST THE MODEL; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] CYBERSECURITY HYBRID DUAL CREDIT PILOT PROJECT--CREATED--TESTING HYBRID INSTRUCTION MODEL IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS--DESIGN--TEACHER TRAINING--STUDENT PARTICIPATION--DATA COLLECTION--PROVEN OUTCOMES.--
A. As used in this section:
(1) "center" means the New Mexico cybersecurity center of excellence at the New Mexico institute of mining and technology;
(2) "pilot" means the cybersecurity hybrid dual credit pilot project; and
(3) "regional education cooperative" means the Four Corners regional education cooperative no. 1.
B. Dual credit courses in technically specialized fields are difficult to deliver statewide because of delivery barriers. The current dual credit delivery models either have students accessing courses on campus, which creates geographic and logistical barriers for students; or have students accessing higher education courses online, which may not provide the face-to-face synchronous academic support needed for successful completion of technically specialized courses. In addition, while public school teachers may have master's degrees, they may not have the required graduate hours to qualify as adjunct faculty who provide dual credit instruction. One potential solution is a hybrid instruction model that allows high school students to access online courses with high school teachers who are qualified as dual credit instructors. The benefit of this component is that participating public high schools will have resident-qualified dual credit instructors, and if the pilot proves successful, it could be expanded, making it easier for other public high schools to expand their dual credit courses.
C. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand fields in the United States, and New Mexico is uniquely situated to take advantage of the need for certificate-level and degree-level cybersecurity workers. The "cybersecurity hybrid dual credit pilot project" is created to:
(1) test the efficacy of the hybrid instruction model and its expected successful application to other technical fields of study; and
(2) train participating high school teachers, who will earn the graduate credits needed to qualify as adjunct faculty teaching dual credit at public post-secondary educational institutions.
D. The three-year pilot allows time for one student cohort to graduate from high school with a high school diploma and an associate's degree or certificate in cybersecurity and one teacher cohort to receive sufficient college credit to qualify as dual credit instructors. The pilot is a joint venture among:
(1) the center;
(2) ten of the state's public early college high schools, selected by application; and
(3) the regional education cooperative as pilot administrator.
E. The pilot has four main components:
(1) the cybersecurity primary coursework delivered online by the center for the student cohort to receive dual credit;
(2) training in cybersecurity for the teacher cohort delivered both in-person and online by the center to:
(a) prepare teachers to help students master cybersecurity course content; and
(b) earn college credit hours needed to qualify as dual credit instructors;
(3) continuous collaboration between teachers and the center on student progress, support and intervention needs, instructional efficacy and course engagement; and
(4) data collection and third-party evaluation of the pilot, the transferability of the instruction model to other dual credit coursework and the benefit to high schools of having qualified dual credit instructors on staff.
F. Applications from early college high schools for participation in the pilot shall be on forms provided by the regional education cooperative. The center shall select up to ten of the applicant schools to participate in the pilot. Each participating high school shall select eight students and one teacher who has a master's degree to participate in the pilot.
G. Teacher training shall include:
(1) two week-long, in-person summer institutes on the campus of the New Mexico institute of mining and technology during the summers of 2023 and 2024, including intensive preparation on major skills, content and knowledge in cybersecurity and for which a teacher receives one credit hour of university coursework for each summer institute; and
(2) one online credit-granting course per academic semester for which a teacher receives three credit hours per semester that leads to certification in cybersecurity and the eighteen credit hours needed to qualify as adjunct faculty in dual credit instruction for New Mexico institutions of higher education.
H. The student coursework shall include:
(1) courses offered to participating high school students and offered online synchronously to all students in the student cohort;
(2) courses scheduled into the cohort's high school course schedules by semester;
(3) online course instruction provided by the center with dual credit leading to an associate's degree or certification in cybersecurity; and
(4) activities, discussion, facilitation and management in the classroom provided by teachers in the teacher cohort that offers secondary education credit toward high school graduation.
I. The regional education cooperative shall provide administrative services, including coordinating the pilot and budgeting and managing pilot finances.
J. The regional education cooperative and the center shall select a third-party evaluator that shall:
(1) establish metrics for pilot outcome objectives;
(2) analyze data on implementation fidelity and outcome objectives;
(3) periodically prepare and report to the legislative education study committee, the public education department and the higher education department on pilot implementation and projected outcomes; and
(4) prepare and present a final comprehensive report on pilot outcomes and findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature, including:
(a) continuation of the hybrid instruction model for cybersecurity and the transferability of the model to other technical fields of study;
(b) challenges and barriers to full implementation of the hybrid model;
(c) cost-benefit analyses of the hybrid model for students, teachers, school districts and public and higher education in New Mexico; and
(d) educational policy development and statutory and rule changes needed for implementation of the model.
SECTION 2. APPROPRIATION.--One million eight hundred thousand dollars ($1,800,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the Four Corners regional education cooperative no. 1 for expenditure in fiscal years 2023 through 2026 to implement the cybersecurity hybrid dual credit pilot project. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2026 shall revert to the general fund.
SECTION 3. EMERGENCY.--It is necessary for the public peace, health and safety that this act take effect immediately.
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