OC schools, colleges establish dual-credit programs for students

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By The Staff

The average student graduates college with $27,000 in student loans – more than the cost of, say, a brand-new Toyota Prius.

But Oldham County students can save on those expenses through a number of dual-credit programs offered at the district’s three high schools.

Oldham County High School is partnering with Jefferson Community and Technical College to allow juniors and seniors to take selected classes beginning in the fall.

The “early college” program is one of several programs Kentucky Community and Technical College System officials have established with school districts across the state.

Principal Brent Deaves said the program will be available to about 70 juniors and 70 seniors in the fall.

Seniors will have the opportunity to attend the JCTCS Carrollton Campus two days a week and take two college classes each semester.

Juniors will take classes led by JCTCS faculty at OCHS.

Juniors who start the program in the fall of 2013 can earn a total of 24 college credits – and those credits are guaranteed to transfer to any in-state public college or university.

The two-year total cost is estimated at $1,730, not including textbooks. The same number of credit hours at the University of Louisville would cost about $4,700.

Deaves said the program isn’t targeted to the school’s highest academic achievers. “This is for the kids who need a push – who might not go to college otherwise,” he said.

Course offerings will be introductory-level classes in English, humanities, sociology, history, natural sciences, math and communications.

Students taking the classes will receive credit for high school classes in the same subjects, so students won’t have to double-up, Deaves said.

Seniors will be back at OCHS in time to participate in after-school activities.

In addition, a new program in conjunction with the University of Louisville will allow Oldham County students at all three schools to take classes at the university’s campus at a reduced cost.

The dual credit program will allow students to take two courses per semester on UofL’s campus.

Students must meet UofL’s admission requirements and will be considered the same as other enrolled students, including access to the library, clubs, student activities center and sports.

The cost will be about one-third of a traditional UofL student – around $1,500 per semester. And, students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch can take classes for free.

Meanwhile, South Oldham High is finalizing opportunities for students that will likely include a combination of classes offered by JCTC, Morehead State University and Bellarmine University.

Students continue to have college credit opportunities through advanced placement courses as well.

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