Columbia College to begin offering dual credit classes

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COLUMBIA - Columbia College will be giving high school students a chance to earn college credits. The two dual credit classes for students in the Columbia Public Schools system are the first to be offered by Columbia College.

The classes will cover the teaching professions and computer science and will be run through the Columbia Area Career Center.

Director of Public Relations Sam Fleury said Columbia College is constantly looking for ways to benefit students in the Columbia Public Schools.  

"When it's out their back yard, it's nice to have that connection between CPS and Columbia College," Fleury said.

He said the college hopes the classes will help students in Columbia see what Columbia College is all about, as well as offer them a service.   

"If they can go into college as a junior or as a sophomore that's a great thing. It can help them increase their academic standing," said Fleury.

The high school teachers running the classrooms must be qualified to teach at the college level.

Provost David Starrett said students who enroll in the dual credit classes will receive an identification card from Columbia College which will allow them to use the library and possibly other resources.

"We think it will have privileges to get into athletic events and some other things that we're still working on," Starrett said.  

He said the college has heard interest from other school districts in the state and it will consider expanding its dual credit to other districts. He said the college is discussing offering more classes in Columbia as well.  

Starrett said the classes will be another recruiting opportunity for the college.  

"We think that having a college in town, a local institution, that's offering dual credit is a good opportunity for those students," Starrett said.

To enroll in the classes students will have to fill out an application. They will also have to get an approval form signed by their parents.  

"The fees are much lower than the fees they would pay if they came to the college. It's an inexpensive way to take a shot at a college class," Starrett said.

The classes will be offered for the first time in fall semester.