April 30, 2012
College-Now

Get a Jumpstart on College in High School

Ever heard of concurrent enrollment? These days, it’s very common for high school students to enroll in college classes and earn both high school and college credit. The good news for parents is that research shows that students who do so are more likely to attend college and earn slightly higher GPAs as college students.

Concurrent enrollment isn’t just for high-achieving students.

Many community college programs do not have high school grade requirements, although students may have to meet certain prerequisites for the courses they want to take.

Advantages of taking college courses as a high school student.

First and foremost, it gives you a taste of what college will be like. If you’re ahead of the game in high school, it’s a great chance for you to earn college credits and/or explore a major or career interest.

So how can you find out about concurrent enrollment opportunities?

First, check with your school district and your state Legislature to find out what agreements are in place. In Colorado, the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act allows public school students to enroll in classes at public Colorado colleges. The guidance counselor at your high school should have information about cooperative agreements between your school and any area colleges.

And keep in mind that some concurrent enrollment programs have special names. For example, “College Now” is the name of concurrent enrollment programs at Front Range.  College Now offers high school students different options:

  • High School Select for classes taught at a student’s high school.
  • Campus Select for classes taught at a Front Range campus in Longmont, Fort Collins or Westminster or the learning center in Brighton.
  • Career Pathways for career/technical programs at the campus in Fort Collins.

How about programs specifically for high school students?

Ask a guidance counselor at your high school about high school programs at colleges in the area. Some colleges offer advanced career and technical training programs specifically for high school juniors or seniors. These programs are designed for those interested in entering the workforce or trying out a career that may or may not need a college degree or certificate. At Front Range, College Now-Career Pathways offers 10 advanced career/technical programs to high school students in the Thompson and Poudre school districts. Other Front Range campuses also enroll high school students in career/technical programs.

Who pays for classes?

Your school district—but you have to enroll as part of your state’s program. Most of the time, however, you will be responsible for your own transportation, books, and student fees.

Will the classes transfer to other colleges?

There’s a good chance they will. It depends on the types of classes you take, the grades you earn, and the school you plan to attend later. If you know where you want to attend after you graduate from high school, be sure to discuss this with your high school guidance counselor and, if possible, an advisor at your intended college.

Are you a high school student interested in taking college courses? Are you currently taking classes at Front Range or another college? Tell us what you think of your program!

 

About the author:

Michaele Charles is the founder of Voice Communications and writes frequently for higher education institutions, small businesses, corporate clients, and others. She also is a fledgling children’s writer. In her pre-writing life, she worked in accounting and finance.

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