Officials at Washington State Community College and Warren High School have developed an innovative business pathway that encourages more students to earn college credits while they’re still in high school.
The new pathway will create a seamless transition for students to matriculate to Washington State and complete a business management technology associate degree in only one year.
The initiative, which will be offered to Warren students in the fall, was developed as a means to provide greater access to college, specifically for students who may not have considered college as an option.
Warren High School Principal Ryan Lemley said programming offered at Washington State is a great fit for his students.
“I wanted to provide a unique opportunity to our kids. A year 13 pathway is new to our area and balances student interest and academic requirements,” he said.
Ohio’s early college initiative, College Credit Plus, is designed to allow Ohio seventh through twelfth-grade students the opportunity to earn college and high school credits concurrently, at no cost to the student.
The state also offers high school students several career technical options through Career Technical Education that prepares students for careers as well as the transition to a college degree program.
Lemley and WSCC’s Early College Coordinator Debbie Gurtis developed a CCP/CTE hybrid to create this new business pathway.
Gurtis said that connecting CCP with other state career tech programs like CTE expands opportunities for students and reaches a population that isn’t being served or is underserved.
Lemley added that the program recognizes that some high school students simply are not ready for the rigors of college.
“I know that on the surface free college sounds great, but many times 15 or 16-year-old kids are not ready for that amount of responsibility or workload,” explained Lemley. “A year 13 pathway eases them into it by balancing high school classes that waive college requirements and college classes offered on the high school campus. This allows the student to reap the benefits of college while remaining closely connected to the high school campus.”
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