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JCHS partnering with local colleges to help students earn class credits without a commute

By Bonnie Davis Guy

Johnson County High School has been working hard to find methods of making post-secondary education a realistic goal for everyone. Currently, there are several programs and partnerships in place that service not only juniors and seniors attending JCHS but also adult and home-schooled students. Traditional core college classes are not the only options available either. There are several technical programs with community colleges throughout the area with articulation agreements that allow the student to sit for an articulation test. If passed, the student will receive three credit hours toward their program.
Juniors and seniors can sign up to take what is known as dual-enrollment classes. These classes allow the student to achieve college credit for the subjects they are taking while still in high school. Currently, JCHS is partnering with Virginia Highlands Community College. Per program coordinator at JCHS, Bridgett Packett, through a grant Virginia Highlands offers these dual enrollment classes at a 95 percent discount to students. Currently, JCHS has qualified staff who can teach the classes on site so no commute is required.  Not every student is accepted into the dual enrollment program. Students wishing to participate must take and pass a three-part exam prior to being accepted. The exam includes writing, reading and math. Another avenue for acceptance into the dual enrollment classes is to have taken the ACT and scored above 21.
Dual enrollment classes differ from advance placement or college preparatory classes in that these classes count as part of the student’s college grade point average and degree credit. Currently, Virginia Highlands is offering dual US History, dual English, dual Math classes including statistics, precalculus, and calculus. The grant not only allows college credits to be accrued at little cost to the student, the student graduates high school and enters college at least a semester ahead of those not participating. This is a huge cost and time savings to the student. Packett went on to say” not only are AP and Dual Enrollment students putting in extra effort and rising to the expectations of these advanced classes, they are preparing themselves for the work ahead to be successful in college.” Packett goes on to say the most common regret verbalized by previous students at JCHS is “if I could do it over again, I would not avoid the harder classes.”
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.