High school students can look forward to gaining college credit


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Instead of attending high-school classes all day, starting next fall, some Iowa City students will spend part of their day attending community college.

The Kirkwood Regional Center, opening in fall of 2015, will offer a variety of rigorous courses for high-school juniors and seniors. Students will have the option to follow a course track, chosen by Kirkwood Community College.

“The choices students would have to take … would take an hour and a half out of their school day,” said Ann Feldmann, the assistant superintendent for the School District. “The rest of their school day, they would be a City High or Tate High or West High student.”

The courses were presented to the School Board on Tuesday.

The purpose of the center is for easier transition between high school and college class. This opportunity would also give the students free college credit while in high school, Feldmann said.

“They’re getting both college credit and high-school credit to take these courses,” she said.

Those who choose to take these courses must comply with the college’s expectations, such as the calendar and grading system.

Additionally, students will have a different break schedule than the high school.

“It’s going to be a tough month with graduation and end of the year [activities for seniors],” board member Tuyet Dorau said.

Some transportation concerns were addressed. Officials working on the program are sorting through their budget for bus-route plans to participating students.

The price of one additional bus route would cost around $40,000.

One option discussed was for students to drive themselves if they choose to not take a school bus. A possibility for cabs for select students may also be in consideration.

“I realize many juniors and seniors drive, but I think we want to be cognizant of students who don’t have that luxury,” Dorau said.

Efforts have been made in the high schools to raise interest for participants. Guidance-counselor meetings, assemblies, and campus tours have been given to students.

“Our guidance counselors and our principals have talked about a lot of [student interest],” Feldmann said.

Similar courses are offered at some high schools, such as arts and sciences, pharmacy tech, nursing assistance, pre-medical, and auto tech.

School districts in Iowa City, West Branch, Solon, and Tipton, plus Regina students, will have the opportunity to participate in the Kirkwood program.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for students,” board President Chris Lynch said.

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