CCAC, Northgate School District expand free college credit offering to all students |

CCAC, Northgate School District expand free college credit offering to all students

Emily Balser

The Community College of Allegheny County and Northgate School District are expanding their partnership to offer all students the chance to earn college credit for free while still in high school.

The program began as a partnership through the College in High School Program to offer some students the chance work toward a certificate or associate degree. Additional funding from the Grable Foundation through 2022 means the program will be opened up to all students.

CCAC said in a press release Northgate expects all students to enroll in CIHS-level courses and has made some of these courses graduation requirements. This will enable students to have up to 16 college credits fully paid for by the time they graduate from Northgate High School.

“Because students complete their credited coursework in our high school’s classrooms, they don’t need to travel to a CCAC campus like they do in some districts’ dual enrollment programs,” said Shaun Tomaszewski, Northgate’s director of Curriculum and Assessment. “Allowing kids to earn college credits as part of their normal school day was really important to us.”

Faculty at both institutions have worked over the past couple of years to align course outcomes including identifying duplicate classes. When Northgate science teachers met with their CCAC counterparts, they recognized that the biology course taken by sophomores at Northgate High School shared some of the learning outcomes of the introductory-level biology course offered by CCAC. Similarly, the Advanced Placement Biology course taken by Northgate students matched closely with the General Biology 1 and 2 courses taught at CCAC.

“Looking for and taking advantage of these points of overlap between our courses enabled us to design an elegant solution that streamlines the enrollment procedures for the students we now share,” said Mary Lou Kennedy, associate vice president and dean of students for CCAC’s North Campus and West Hills Center.

Beginning in the 2019–2020 academic year, the district will receive about $150,000 to fully fund the registration and tuition costs for the following courses required for graduation from Northgate High School:

• College in High School Biology, four college credits

• College in High School Computer Science Principles, three college credits

• College in High School Human Geography, three college credits

• College in High School Business Communications, three college credits

• College in High School Government, three college credits

For more information contact Shaun Tomaszewski, director of curriculum and assessment for Northgate School District, at [email protected].

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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