A new Kaskaskia College initiative is looking to help high school students obtain college credit towards their future education, while at the same time helping to reduce future college expenses.
Through a strong partnership with 14 of the high schools in KC’s district, the college has developed an after-school program which will offer high school students the opportunity to take select college classes at a minimal cost.
Through the program Kaskaskia College will be providing courses that will replace some dual credit that was lost in the high schools due to rule changes through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Recently the commission had made policy changes to the credentials faculty must have to teach classes that would be accepted for college credit, which meant KC could no longer accept certain classes through its dual credit program at area high schools.
While the college understood the HLC’s reasoning for its decisions, KC Interim President George Evans says it was a shame that it affected so many schools, students and their parents.
“Years ago the dual credit program was established to help students earn college credit in high school and many utilized these course offerings to better themselves and start the fast track to a college education. I am convinced that the faculty members who were deemed by the HLC as “no longer qualified” to teach these courses performed well in the classroom and were masters of their subject material, however if we are to maintain our accredited status (which directly affects Pell Grants and other forms of funding), we must abide by the HLC rules.” said Evans. “This new program is a way to provide relief to the students and parents of our district, as well as a way to strengthen our partnerships with our high school communities.”
Through the new After School College Program, students will be able to take select classes previously offered as dual credit at their high school, with the tuition and mandatory fees waived by Kaskaskia College. Students will be responsible for any lab fees and textbooks/eBooks associated with their courses. By waiving the tuition, the college hopes to save the high school students and their parent’s funds for which they can use to pursue their academic field of study after they graduate. The Kaskaskia College Foundation is sponsoring the initiative and Evans thanked them for the support. “We would not have been able to offer this program if it had not been for the generous support of our Foundation,” said Evans. “Thanks to their leadership and support, hundreds of area students will be getting a head start on their college careers.”
The initiative is the first of its kind and Evans also praised the 14 schools who jumped on board to make this program available to their students. “This has been a labor of love, and just shows the strong partnership that Kaskaskia College has with its area high schools,” Evans noted. The participating schools are: Breese Central, Breese Mater Dei, Carlyle, Centralia, Christ Our Rock, Greenville, Mulberry Grove, Sandoval, Nashville, Odin, Okawville, Patoka, Wesclin, and Vandalia.
The classes will be taught on KC’s main campus, at its five education centers, or online. Classes will begin in August and the schedule has already been released to participating high schools. For more information, or to obtain a course schedule contact Amy Troutt, Director of Student Engagement at 618-545-3048.