College Credit Plus Program to Bolster College Readiness and Completion

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In an effort to bolster college readiness, increase the percentage of students who stay in college and complete a degree, the Ohio Board of Regents has proposed a uniform revision of dual enrollment programs for high school students seeking college credit.

The Ohio Legislature is currently considering the details of the new program – called College Credit Plus. This program will begin in 2015 and replaces the Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program and other programs being utilized regionally and locally across the state where high school students can take college courses for combined high school and college credit.

When I graduate, I will have two years of my bachelor’s degree paid for, significantly reducing the cost for my next degree.

“Ohio’s dual credit system is underutilized and is administered across the state with varying degrees of efficacy and quality,” wrote John Carey, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, in the plan presented to state lawmakers.

The goals of the College Credit Plus program are to:

• Improve college readiness.

• Reduce time and cost of degree completion.

• Encourage early connection to careers.

• Embed real world experiences.

• Strengthen student support and engagement.

• Launch personalized intervention.

Nicolette Jordan, a dual enrollment student from Firelands High School, said the opportunity to get college credits while in high school is an important factor in her desire to earn a Ph.D.

“Earning college credit while in high school has always been important to me, and Lorain County Community College is my opportunity to do so,” Jordan said. “I have always planned to graduate high school with my associate of arts degree, and LCCC makes it possible for me to achieve this goal.”

She attended LCCC during her junior and senior year of high school through the PSEO program.  Participating in this program also saves her money.

“When I graduate, I will have two years of my bachelor’s degree paid for, significantly reducing the cost for my next degree.”

College Credit Plus seeks to improve college readiness of students by minimizing the need for developmental education to prepare them for college-level classes by partnering with local school districts to provide credit-bearing courses while in high school.

“This program helps us scale up proven dual enrollment pathways, such as PSEO, Early College High School and the University Partnership program, while piloting new approaches that reduce the amount of time and cost it takes to complete a degree,” said Cindy Kushner, director of LCCC’s Marketing and Outreach Initiatives office.

Assisting students with early adoption of, and persistence in, a major area of study that connects to a career is another way focus of College Credit Plus. “Integrating career exploration, coaching, internships, co-ops, and experiential learning throughout a student’s educational experience prepares them for success during and after college,” Kushner said.

As college tuition gets more and more expensive – for the freshman and sophomore years, the costs at some of Ohio’s public colleges and universities can be more than $20,000 – providing a consistent dual enrollment program for high school students can lead to savings for students and their parents.

In College Credit Plus, as in current dual enrollment programs, students can choose to just take a few courses – or for those really motivated – complete an associate degree, then transfer into the college of their choice at a dramatically reduced cost – either through LCCC’s University Partnership or elsewhere.

“Students who participate in dual enrollment get to experience the rigors of college-level work prior to high school graduation, so they’re really more prepared to succeed as they transition to college,” Kushner added.

Nearly 2,000 high school students from all over Lorain County take advantage each semester of one of LCCC’s dual enrollment programs to jumpstart their college careers.

For more information, call LCCC’s Enrollment Services at 440-366-4032.

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