When the Kentucky Department of Education announced in the fall of 2018 that high school graduation requirements would be changing to make the second half of high school more personalized in order to better prepare graduates for the next step, local high schools were not surprised. In fact, Dual Credit and Early College programs have been in place and gaining traction for the past few years.
Monica Rice, college and career readiness coach at Owensboro High School, explains that, though there is certainly crossover between the two programs, it is important to note where the two differ.
“Early College is a program designed for students to be full-time college students and receive their associate’s degree (two-year degree) by the time they graduate high school,” Rice said. “Dual Credit is an opportunity to earn general education college credit hours without being a full-time college student.”
In each district, some dual credit courses are taken at Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC), while other courses can be taken within the high school.
Each of the four local high schools offers a range of entry-level courses at the 101/102 level, as well as an array of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Offered within the traditional high school setting, AP courses are rigorous, college-level classes that give students an opportunity to gain the skills and experience colleges across the nation recognize, using uniform materials and exams.
“Our community is very special; we have the best partners who truly want the best educational opportunities for every child,” Rice said. “By joining forces, we can provide a variety of resources for students and build a solid future for our community.”
Kurt Osborne, assistant principal at Owensboro Catholic High School, said that, beginning in the fall semester of 2019, OCHS will offer eight dual credit courses through Brescia at their Parrish Avenue campus.
“The opportunity currently available to students is unbelievable –the cost savings in just unreal,” said Kelly Spaw, college and career readiness counselor at Apollo High School. “We are always looking to expand our offerings to better serve our students.”
To find out what is right for your student, look for announcements and social media posts regarding meetings on the various programs, or contact the College and Career Readiness coach or counselor at your child’s home school.