Exeter School District helps pay for college courses

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Program helps parents and students defray expense of tuition

Juniors and seniors at the Exeter school district, and their parents, can get help with college tuition through district's Dual Credit program.

Whether they are planning to attend college, or just gaining additional education, by the time they graduate from high school, students can have up to to 12 credit hours of college courses under their belts, a significant advantage to peers who are just starting college.

Under its Dual Credit program, which has been in existence for seven years, the small school district pays for college classes.

"Exeter has been paying for dual credit classes for seven years," said Sharyn Crouch, Exeter counselor for grades 7-12. "The students have to be either a junior or a senior to participate in the program."

Students must have a minimum GPA to qualify.

"Colleges require that they have at least a 2.5 GPA, which is a change from last year," Crouch said. "Last year, students had to have a 3.0 to participate. Also, this is the first year colleges require parents to sign an agreement allowing their students to take the course, and either [Robert] Taylor, the principal, or I have to sign an agreement stating the students are permitted to take a course. The time limit for taking the course corresponds with the college timeline."

Funding for the program varies

each year and is based on how many students take the classes.

"The funds are from the same account that is used to pay for students to attend Scott Regional Technical Center in Monett," Crouch said.

The district feels the program has been a success, Crouch said, of which they measure by the fact that every student who has taken a college class has gone on to attend college.

Students are limited to taking two, three-hour credit classes per semester and take courses based upon the college's curriculum.

"They are courses with the added rigor of a college class," Crouch said. "This allows students to still be involved in sports and other high school activities. Even with the limitation, it computes to 12 credit hours per year on a student's transcript."

That equates to significantly less tuition expenses for parents.

"It's a great deal for parents and students who are interested in getting help with college expenses," Crouch said. "This year, we have agreements with Crowder College, Missouri State University and Missouri Southern State University. In the past, we also had a student take a course with Ozark Technical College."

Crouch said this year's courses include college algebra, trigonometry, personal finance, accounting, speech, nursing, animal science, and natural resource management.

"Some of the courses are taught by our personnel with master's degrees in the field, and some are online using college professors," she said.

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