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High Schools Offering College-Credit Courses

Compiled By Yaffa Klugerman
January 11, 2010

Some high schools are shying away from Advanced Placement courses and are instead opting to provide students with access to college courses through partnerships with area institutions.

The New York Times reports that in Connecticut, classes in French, Spanish, Italian and German are being offered to Staples High School students through the University of Connecticut. About 50 students are enrolled in the program this year, which allows students to submit a University of Connecticut transcript to colleges instead of AP scores.

"It costs the district nothing," explained John Dodig, principal at Staples, who was quoted by the Times, "and it provides greater flexibility and opportunity for the kids." He noted that the program is particularly appealing to students planning on attending colleges which don't accept AP scores.

Another article in the Times reports that New York-based schools are offering the same type of program: St. John's University in Queens, for example, maintains partnerships with 90 public and private high schools through its College Advantage Program, allowing high school students to enroll in college-credit courses including calculus, history and Latin. Similarly, William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach partners with Dowling College, Suffolk Community College, St. John's and Farmingdale State College to offer college courses.

"It's a way to save money for parents on college tuition," explained Gordon Brosdal, an assistant superintendant of the district, who was quoted by the Times.

In Colorado, state education officials are taking college-credit courses one step further: The Greeley Tribune reports that state education officials are working on implementing a program called Accelerating Students Through Concurrent Enrollment, or ASCENT, with the goals of increasing graduation rates and decreasing higher education costs for students. The program will allow high school students who have completed 12 college credits by senior year to enroll full time in college courses for one year--with tuition paid by the district--and then graduate high school following that year with a two-year degree.

The program is slated to begin during the 2010-11 year, but officials are still unsure of how much state funding will be available for implementation.

"I think that concurrent enrollment is a very, very powerful [concept], and it's one that the board just absolutely supports," said Bruce Broderius, president of the District 6 Board of Education, who was quoted in the Tribune. "But the implementation is the question."

In Charleston, South Carolina, The Post and Courier reports that college-credit courses are being offered at high schools as after-school activities. The courses are being offered in partnership with Trident Technical College, with students paying for tuition and books while high schools provide space for the class.

Lucy Beckham, principal of Wando High School, noted that the program is appealing because it provides more access to college-level classes for students who lack transportation.

"High schools today have to be different," she told the Post and Courier. "It's about creating opportunities for this very large and diverse population to give them the access they need."

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