The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has made it easier for high school students to take college classes and receive credit toward high school graduation as well as credit toward a college degree.
Besides getting a jump start on college, students and their parents save money, and the school district doesn’t lose any funding, according to Kenai Peninsula College Director Gary Turner.
Turner testified during Monday’s school board meeting, endorsing the dual-credit program offered to Kenai Peninsula high school students.
Regular tuition at KPC is $109 per credit, and high school students enrolled in a program the college calls Jump Start pay only $35.
In a handout Turner gave to school board members, he said the same per-credit cost would be $413 if the student attended Washington State University, and $625 if he or she went to Michigan State.
“Parents and students save money lots of money,” Turner said.
Through a mill levy, the Kenai Peninsula Borough makes up the difference in tuition costs to the college, he said.
The change in school district Policy AR 6180 now makes it easier for high school students to take classes at KPC, according to Sam Stewart, assistant schools superintendent.
Deleted from the policy is a requirement that the course not be offered in the high school’s curriculum in order for the student to take the class at KPC.
Any full-time high school student enrolled in the district, and who meets qualifying criteria, is eligible.
In the spring term last year, 97 high school seniors completed 403 credits at KPC, according to Turner’s handout, and during the fall of 2005, 126 seniors took 511 credits.
The school district has a total of 685 seniors, according to Turner, meaning only 18 percent are taking advantage of the Jump Start program while historically 60 percent go to college.
Students need not be in their senior year in order to take dual-credit classes, but must meet certain criteria, including having an Intervention Team recommendation if they are not seniors.
Courses must be at least three credits and be at the 100 level or above, though a two-semester, two-credit course will be considered, according to the school district policy.
Courses below the 100 level are remedial programs offered by the college, according to Stewart.
Additionally the student must provide evidence that learning has extended beyond the courses provided to meet the high school graduation credit, making it necessary to take a course of greater depth and complexity.
The grade recorded on the official college transcript is the grade that will be recorded as the high school grade, and students are responsible for providing a copy of the transcript to their high school.
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