12/27/11 Rules require path for students

Rules require path for students
High schoolers taking college courses must now maintain GPA
By Mike Wilder The Times-News 12/27/11     
Reprinted with permission.

 Statewide changes to programs that allow high school students to take community college courses will affect Alamance Community College and its students beginning in January.

 The new programs will continue to allow high school students to take community college courses for free, but students will be required to choose a focus and maintain a minimum grade point average.

 Kent Byrd, the Alamance-Burlington School System’s executive director of secondary school leadership, said high school students previously have chosen to take community college classes much like they would take any elective.

 “The new requirements specify that they choose a pathway,” he said, that focuses on moving them toward a career or providing a foundation for college.

 Gene Couch, Alamance Community College’s executive vice president, said high school juniors and seniors will be eligible to take the courses. One major change, he said, is that charter school and home-schooled students will be eligible.

 The state initiative is called ”College and Career Promise.”

 The Career and Technical Education Pathway, written information from Alamance Community College said:

  •  is designed to lead to certification in a technical area.
  •  requires high school students to have a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher or get approval from their principal.
  •  will begin in 2012 in these areas: animal care management, criminal justice, finance academy (for Williams High School students), advertising and graphic design (photography and video work) and cosmetology.

 The College Transfer Path, according to the college:

  •  leads to a minimum of 30 hours of college-transfer credit.
  •  requires high school students to have a weighted GPA of at least 3.0.
  •  requires that students demonstrate college readiness on assessment/placement tests in English, reading and math.
  •  will offer pathways including humanities and social science, business and economics, and engineering and math.

 The college and school system will continue to work together through the Alamance-Burlington Middle College, a small, non-traditional high school that operates on the college’s main campus. Students in the middle college take high school and college courses. There will be no new restrictions for those students in either career or collegetransfer areas. Placing testing will be required only for courses with prerequisites.