High Schoolers get chance at college credit
by Jazz Clark
High school kids will be given a chance to earn college credit under a new dual-credit program with the Morgan County extension of Blue Ridge College.
“We’re hoping to begin a partnership where Blue Ridge offers classes for high school and college credit at both the Paw Paw and Berkeley Springs High School campuses,” said County School Superintendent Dave Banks.
Courses are set to begin in Fall, 2013.
The only confirmed classes right now are English 101 and possibly English 102, but Banks wants to start small and expand to classes in math, science, history and social studies. Since they are partnering with a technical college, technical classes would be a welcome addition, he said.
Paw Paw is hoping to offer a robotics class in the future, but no details have been hammered out.
Any school-sanctioned classes will be offered at zero cost to the student. Students can still take after-school classes outside of this partnership, but would have to pay regular college rates.
Classes will be taught by high school teachers paid by the county school system, with Blue Ridge assuming the costs for textbooks and supplies. Later, teachers may be partnered with Blue Ridge employees.
If students do badly in a course, they have the option to withdraw from the class up to a week ahead of time so the grade will not be reported to their future college.
Credits earned will be transferred to any West Virginia institution, backed by a transfer agreement from the state government.
Under the agreement, students may transfer up to 35 credit hours of approved general studies courses.
“In Morgan County, there is nothing that our kids can’t accomplish,” Banks said. “This opportunity is about allowing these accomplishments to occur, right here in our own back yard.”
Blue Ridge President Peter Checkovich and other college staff were on hand for the signing of the agreement on Monday afternoon, March 4.
“The potential is ripe here for students to get a start for their future,” Checkovich said. “If a student plans wisely enough, they can shave a semester or two off their college career. And with college rates as high as they are, that’s a good investment.”