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ASU, SAISD Announce Dual Credit Plan

March 07, 2012

An enhanced dual credit program in line with the Early College School District concept envisioned by the superintendent of the San Angelo Independent School District will be initiated this fall by Angelo State University and SAISD.

The enhanced ASU program, requested by local parents and students as well as by the SAISD, will provide juniors and seniors at Central and Lake View high schools with the opportunity to earn college credits while completing their high school diplomas.  The dual credit option will be an extension of ASU’s existing Springboard program. 

While students will still have options for classes throughout the day, both ASU and SAISD are targeting the 8 a.m. Monday through Friday timeslot as the best option for most SAISD students.  SAISD will provide transportation, as needed, to and from the ASU campus for the 8 a.m. classes.  ASU, in turn, will protect seats in the targeted classes so that they are available to SAISD students at registration. 

Credits from the ASU classes will fulfill the participants’ high school requirements and count as college work after high school graduation.  Classes offered under the dual credit enrollment program would be core college courses.  Tuition would be partially paid by an ASU scholarship program, $125 per approved course by SAISD, and the balance by the student as part of the district’s advanced placement options.  Students who qualify for a full scholarship pay no tuition for the coursework.  All students are responsible for books. 

Students who take full advantage of fall and spring classes as well as ASU’s summer offerings through the Springboard program could potentially earn enough college credits to begin their university careers as sophomores at ASU or other institutions. 

SAISD Superintendent Carol Ann Bonds said the district seeks to provide every student the opportunity to earn at least 24 college hours through academic dual credit, advanced placement courses or technical dual credit by the time they graduate. The new arrangement with ASU will strengthen SAISD’s position as an Early College School District and enhance SAISD’s academic reputation for producing successful graduates. 

“One of highest priorities of SAISD is that every student be given the opportunity to earn dual credit while in high school,” Bonds said. “The partnership that SAISD has with ASU is vital for us to accomplish this goal.” 

ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said, “Dual credit is a focused academic path that would allow participating students to actually graduate from college in three years by completing an appropriate and academically rigorous core curriculum.  We look forward to working with SAISD in implementing this program.” 

By taking one Monday/Wednesday/Friday class and one Tuesday/Thursday class each semester through the Springboard program, beginning their junior year, qualified students would earn 24 hours of college credit by their high school graduation.  Additionally, they could participate in the ASU summer Springboard program and earn an additional six hours of college credit. 

As an incentive for participating students to enroll at ASU after high school graduation, Rallo said ASU would freeze the ASU tuition rate at the previous year’s level for the first year of a student’s full-time enrollment at Angelo State. 

Allowable core courses under the program for high school juniors are English and American history.  High school seniors will have the option to take core courses in English, government, economics, mathematics and science.  Foreign language courses may also be taken under this program, but must have ASU department chair approval. 

Dr. Brian May, ASU’s interim provost and vice-president of academic affairs, and TerriePhillips, SAISD’s advanced academic specialist, were instrumental in working out the details of the concurrent enrollment program. 

“We believe this is a win-win situation,” May said, “not only for Angelo State and San Angelo Independent School District, but also for our students and our community.”