Catholic Central students will have the opportunity to graduate with both their high school diploma and associates degree through a partnership with Clark State Community College, beginning this fall.
As part of the College Credit Plus Program, students entering their freshman year next fall will be able to apply for the program. The high school is currently testing students who may be eligible, said Dr. Amit Singh, provost and vice president of Clark State. Students who qualify will begin by taking English I next fall.
“From the very beginning, the plan is to offer the full program at the high school,” Singh said. “We hope we have a good number in the classes. They’re working very hard on their end to make sure students sign up and prepare for the classes.”
The program is extremely value for students and their parents, Singh said.
“It’s not just a savings in terms of money, but also time,” Singh said. “The two-year time frame will allow them to get a jumpstart on their career, job or training. They’ll start before anyone else. It will give them a leg up in the long-term.”
It could also encourage students who in the past may not have thought college was an option, he said.
More than 20 Catholic Central students are currently earning college credits through the program, said Dr. Karen Juliano in a press release. But the new curriculum will allow students to earn both degrees, she said, without leaving Central’s campus.
“It’s not something we are forcing people to do, but it is giving our students an opportunity to get a two-year degree to help their college situation financially and in every other way,” Juliano said. “If they are capable of taking these courses, we want to capitalize on that and give them everything we can.”
Catholic Central instructors are currently being certified to teach college-level courses for next fall using Clark State’s curriculum. They’ll add courses as the program moves forward, Juliano said.
Most Clark County high schools have similar programs, Singh said. Clark-Shawnee is one course away from providing both a high school diploma and associate’s degree, he said.
The model could be used at other schools in the future, Singh said.
“We’re open to the possibilities,” he said.