LIMA — College Credit Plus, formerly known as dual enrollment, gives high school students the opportunity to study college courses while also getting their high school education, giving them the chance to already have college credits in place after graduation, saving the time of studying them in college as well as the expense of paying for those classes.
On Thursday, Rhodes State College hosted a seminar on College Credit Plus for superintendents, principals, treasurers and guidance counselors from school districts in a 10-county region surrounding Lima. Rhodes State Vice President of Student Affairs Rose Reinhart emphasized how this program can be an exceptional tool to help students achieve their educational goals, given the right circumstances.
“The student has to be college ready, and it’s not just a case where the student can go to the guidance counselor and say, ‘I want to take English Composition as a college student,’” she said. “They have to be college ready. So we have things in place, whether it’s placement testing or looking at their high school transcript. The counselor needs to recommend that they’re ready for it. We take a picture of all of that, because what happens is the student is building their academic history, so we want to make sure that they are successful.”
Reinhart said that, in the best of circumstances, students can start the program as early as seventh grade and could graduate high school with enough credits to forego their freshman year of college or even with enough credits to obtain an associate’s degree.
The summit was also designed to be a dialogue between the college and the area school districts, Reinhart said, covering areas such as what parts of the program work and what do not and what legislative updates could affect the program.
“One of the things I know that is at least a concern are students who do not do well,” she said. “We know they are creating a college transcript and their academic history, so it looks like what’s coming down are some more supports that will be required to make sure that students are successful.”
Russia Superintendent Steve Rose said that his district has taken full advantage of the prorgam, with every high school student taking part.
“We’re giving kids, staying in their home campus with teachers who know them in a warm, loving environment, the same opportunity as students who leave campus to get a college education, he said.
Reinhart recommends that parents interested in the program begin talking to counselors early to ensure that students can be signed up before spring deadlines.