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Steel Valley teachers share benefits of college-level courses

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 7:37 a.m.

Steel Valley School District officials hailed the success of college level programs at the high school at a school board meeting this week.

For college-bound students, “It's an awesome opportunity,” calculus teacher Tim Vickers told board members on Tuesday.

Vickers is one of five high school teachers certified by the University of Pittsburgh to deliver college-level instruction to students.

In addition to calculus, students can earn college credits in French, communications and rhetoric, physics and probability and statistics.

The high school has been offering such programs for about 25 years. Students can earn 18 college credits before they graduate.

High school principal Bryan Macuga noted the $225 tuition fee for each course is about a 10th of what students would pay if they were taking the classes in college.

French teacher Toni Besh said there are other advantages to taking the higher level courses while in high school. The French class she teaches would be covered in a single semester in college; at the high school, she said, lessons are spread out during the entire school year.

Not all students enrolled in the upper-level courses pay tuition fees. School officials said those who do not pay cover the same material and are assessed identically but do not receive the college credits.

Physics teacher Ben Lander said 10 of the 22 students he has in his Advanced Placement physics course are earning credits from Pitt.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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