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A bundle of new College in High School courses offer students and parents significant savings

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Ms. Manesiotis's Honors Pre-Calculus course is one of 28 courses newly approved for CHS credit.

Ms. Manesiotis's Honors Pre-Calculus course is one of 28 courses newly approved for CHS credit.

photo by Kaycee Orwig

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Ms. Manesiotis's Honors Pre-Calculus course is one of 28 courses newly approved for CHS credit.

Josie Wadlow, Editor-in-Chief

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Should you load up on APs to groom the college resume or register for classes based on genuine interest? That’s the question that preoccupies students during scheduling season, which will soon be upon the junior class. But this year there’s a twist.

North Allegheny has partnered with La Roche College to introduce 28 College in High School Courses. The CHS arrangement will allow high school students to earn college credit at La Roche or transferrable credit at a large number of other colleges and universities.

This past fall, La Roche’s department chairs compared NASH curricula to their own. When a course was deemed a match, La Roche agreed to grant the credits given certain requirements. The initiative was spearheaded by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Dr. Tammy Andreyko, who worked to launch the partnership before the first semester ended in order to grant credit to students with first-semester CHS classes.

NASH Principal Dr. Kreider was excited to see the program take shape so quickly.

“When our plans with La Roche College were finalized, we had the opportunity to offer these courses for credit this school year,” Kreider said. “By starting in the middle of the school year, we were able to extend this opportunity to more of our students.”

While the mid-year start brings an abundance of benefits to the student body, some seniors reacted to the news with disappointment.

“I just wish they would have started this when I was a junior,” Mackenna Romanelli said. “I could have received credits for classes that I took last year, but now I can’t.”

Nevertheless, the long-term advantages of the program are hard to ignore. To qualify, students in CHS courses must earn a grade of C or higher and pay typically $210 (in some cases, prices will vary). The course grade applies only if the student matriculates to La Roche.  For all other participating colleges, only the credits apply. In most cases, CHS courses yield three college credits, though some selected courses, such as AP Calculus, yield four. To receive the credits, the deposit must be made by April 1st.

“It drops the cost of your future college years,” Juliano Capretta said. “It saves students a lot of money while ensuring they still obtain the same amount of material.”

Actually, CHS is not new to NASH. For years, courses such as Honors Argument and Honors Calculus have allowed high school students to earn college credit at Pitt. However, the partnership with La Roche expands the opportunities significantly.

The CHS curriculum will continue to embrace our high academic standards for our students.”

— Dr. Kreider

World Language Department Chair Marcie Good, who is overseeing the implementation of the La Roche program here at NASH, explained that students cannot receive credit for more than three La Roche CHS classes in a given year. Courses not associated with the La Roche program, such as Honors Latin 3 (Duquesne) and Honors Advanced Accounting 1 and 2 (Carlow University), do not apply to the three-per-year limit. In other words, students may choose to maximize credit through the La Roche CHS courses and still have room to accumulate more college credits.

“Many of the courses that were identified to qualify for college level credit are core academic courses where we have solid and very predictable enrollment numbers from one year to the next,” Kreider said. “I believe these courses will remain relatively stable with some slight increases in some areas.”

But the full list of approved CHS courses covers a wide array of elective areas, too, from Web Page Design and Photography to Child Development and Multicultural Experience.

“I believe we will see more significant changes in enrollment in these areas,” Kreider added. “Ultimately, I’d like to see students enrolling in coursework that aligns more closely with their future plans.”

Whether this new initiative affects enrollment in AP classes or registration for AP Exams remains to be seen. In some cases, AP courses were approved for CHS credit, but it’s likely that colleges will not award credit for both a CHS course and a passing score on an AP Exam in that subject. Ms. Good emphasized that students must research the specific policies at each of their prospective colleges and determine what approach is most advantageous for them.

What is for certain, however, is that the learning environment at NASH will continue to evolve as a plethora of new opportunities are presented to the student body.

A full list of CHS classes can be found here.

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