Oak Creek After Lena Grout graduates from Soroco High School next month, she plans to arrive at Humboldt State University in northern California with about 30 hours of college credit already on her transcript.
“It’s cool to say you’re not only a high school student, but you also have college credit,” Grout said.
This school year, Grout is one of 42 students at Soroco High School who are taking college-level courses through Colorado Northwestern Community College’s concurrent enrollment program.
Julie Hoff, CNCC’s South Routt Center coordinator, said 46 percent of the high school’s 92 students are taking college-level courses this school year and are saving an estimated $41,802.95 in tuition based on the community college’s rate of $105 per credit.
“I truly believe this type of program is really good for the kids, the schools and the community,” Hoff said. “We basically have the goal of having every kid at Soroco take college courses or be ready to take them when they graduate.”
She added that the program nearly doubled this school year after it was opened to freshmen and more classes were offered, including virtual classes that are taught partly online.
Soroco students in grades nine to 12 now can take college courses at their own campus, including math, English, biology, psychology, accounting, geology, speech and Western civilization. The high school offered students 51 college credits this school year through the program, which is free to students.
Hoff said the courses serve to motivate students who may not think much about attending college until they have had the opportunity to experience it while they’re still in high school.
“If they can amass even a few credits, they may enjoy it and see the savings and keep going,” she said.
Grout, who wants to study writing or film at Humboldt State, took about 30 hours of college credit this school year in courses that included psychology, algebra, trigonometry and English composition through CNCC and an online anatomy course through Colorado Mesa University.
She said although the college classes are taught by her high school instructors, they have a much different feel.
“There’s more opportunity for individual thinking in these classes,” Grout said. “If you don’t show up to class, that’s your problem. They let us go to the bathroom without having to ask, and we don’t have to raise our hands to leave. They give us this type of feeling that we are now making our own decisions. The class has more of a college feel.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com