The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

May 27, 2014

Penn College NOW Courses Offered Free to High School Students

— WILLIAMSPORT — Pennsylvania College of Technology’s dual enrollment program for high school students, Penn College NOW, is launching extensive revisions for fall 2014, most notably eliminating tuition costs for participating students and expanding the number of course offerings.

Penn College NOW provides the opportunity for qualified high school students to take Penn College courses for both high school and college credit. The courses are taken at the high school or career and technology center during the regular high school day.

Changes in the program are designed to make college courses accessible to every student who is academically qualified. In addition to eliminating tuition for high school students — which in 2013-14 was $50 per credit — the program removes other potential obstacles to enrollment.

While the courses use the same textbooks that are used in the classes taught on Penn College’s campuses, the college requires schools to ensure that no student will be excluded if he or she cannot buy a textbook. Some schools have elected to budget for the cost of furnishing the textbooks, while some have partnered with industry groups in their communities, and others are raising funds for books through student clubs.

The program also prohibits excluding students based on “nonrelevant criteria,” such as class rank. Rather, to help ensure students will not struggle with the courses, participants must achieve college-level performance in reading and, if a course requires math, pass a Penn College mathematics placement test.

In addition to making Penn College NOW dual enrollment courses accessible to a higher percentage of students, the college will offer more courses and has partnered with more schools. In 2013-14, the college offered 36 courses in 18 technical and two academic disciplines. In 2014-15, the college plans to offer 59 courses in 22 technical and seven academic disciplines. New disciplines include automotive technology, business management, chemistry, English, health sciences and masonry.

To ensure the same rigor as the courses taught at Penn College, courses follow the same syllabi, and qualified secondary teachers are validated by Penn College faculty liaisons. High school students not only use the same college textbooks as those used on campus, but they also take the same final exam, which is graded by a Penn College faculty liaison.

At the end of a course — typically offered over a full school year rather than a semester — students receive a grade that is recorded on their college transcript. Credits earned may be transferred to other colleges, at the discretion of the receiving college.

To learn more about Penn College NOW dual enrollment, call (570) 320-8003, email CareerEd@pct.edu or visit www.pct.edu/k12.

 

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