In an effort to give its high school students a head-start, Hardin ISD is picking up the costs for all dual credit classes offered by Lee College at its campus in Liberty starting next fall. According to Hardin ISD Superintendent Scott Mackey, the board of trustees recently made the decision to pay for the classes, which were already at a reduced rate of $125 per course.
Dual credit courses allow students to receive high school and college credits for the same coursework. These credits may then be applied to associate or bachelor degree plans.
Mackey called the board’s decision a win-win for Hardin ISD and its students.
“This is a time where school districts have an opportunity to really help students get started on their careers while they are still at home and under their parents’ roofs,” he said.
Students who diligently take the dual credit classes could actually earn an associate degree and high school diploma simultaneously. Sixty credits are needed for an associate degree.
“Lee College offers 42 credit hours of core complete courses. If students complete these specified credit hours, they will be guaranteed to transfer those to any accredited Texas public college or university. It’s like having a year and a half of college finished,” Mackey said.
For students who hope to pursue a rewarding vocational education, Lee College also offers courses in electrical technology, process technology, computer maintenance and networking, and cosmetology. Hardin ISD will also pay for these courses for its students.
While the $125 per course fee might not seem like a big savings to some people, the expense has discouraged some Hardin students from taking dual credit courses, and the District hopes to eliminate these financial barriers.
“I would say each year I have a number of students who tell me they can’t afford it – maybe 5-10 or so. I know there are more that didn’t even ask about the classes because of the costs,” said Melissa Waller, high school counselor. “I know this is going to be a boost for those families. Families who might be struggling to pay for the classes will have money freed up to do other things they need.”
Students and parents will still incur the cost of textbooks, classroom materials and testing, and will be responsible for late fees and add/drop fees.
The dual credit courses are held during the first half of the school day and the District manages transportation to and from the Lee College campus in Liberty.
High school students have already met with counselor and the academic coaching team with many indicating they want to take dual credit courses in the fall. Registration information must be submitted to Counselor Melissa Waller at the high school by 3 p.m. April 30.
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