The University School
This case focuses on the academic, administrative, local and regional issues surrounding the attempts by a county school board to partner with a local college in designing and implementing a dual enrollment program. High school students would not only earn college credit, but would also be provided with the opportunity to earn an Associates Degree, while completing the requirements for high school graduation. Although dual enrollment programs have become common in recent years, the board insisted that this innovative initiative be guided by an overriding, non-negotiable principle; namely, that the students would not be required to leave their high school campuses in order to receive the college instruction. This restriction resulted in the board's inability to reach an agreement with the local, in-state Community College and their subsequent partnership with an out-of-state university which had a highly respected branch campus in the local area.
As was to be expected, the academic, financial, and political intricacies involved in what quickly became a high-profile, two-year, regionally-accredited venture were extensive and will serve to provide users of the case an opportunity for in-depth micro and macro-level analysis. This case also demonstrates how regional competition and turf issues can overwhelm the best intentioned efforts at public service. The case is intended to be useful in teaching various issues in public policy making, strategic planning, education policy, ethics in public affairs, budgeting, and public management. The case is structured into three parts so it is available for students engaged in case analysis to complete and submit assignments after Case A, or Cases A and B, or Cases A, B, and C. Each approach allows for flexibility in determining the teaching points to be addressed, to include both those suggested by the authors and those implemented by the instructor.