Innovative courses providing students with a road map for the future

Collinsville High School was recently recognized for “building a college-going culture” by the Alabama State Department of Education and the Alabama Possible organization during the 2019-20 academic year.

Bradley Crawford, Collinsville High School principal, said they had expanded their dual enrollment program with Northeast Alabama Community College over the past several years.

NACC Dual Enrollment Coordinator Staci Miller said a few years back, the only college-level class available at CHS was history.

“We currently offer all four-core courses, Math 112, History 201 and 202, English 101 and 102 and Biology 103 on our campus in a face-to-face environment,” said Crawford.

Miller said with NACCs innovative schedules, in which they partner with CHS through dual enrollment, students can take elective courses and earn credits for short term certificates from NACC.

She said a short term certificate involves a list of technical courses students take to earn a short term certificate.

“We have technical scholarships we offer students, and we are able to match them with an English, math, or science,” said Miller.

Crawford said the 2019 CHS graduating class completed more than 200 hours of college coursework as a class.

During the 2019-20 school year, students in grades 10th through 12th completed 248 hours of college credit courses.

“We have several students who earn technical scholarships, which helps pay the cost of tuition for both technical and academic courses,” Crawford said.

Miller said students who participate in these courses would have their high school diploma upon graduation and a short-term certificate that can allow them to get a head start in college or workforce.

Crawford said the school saw its first student complete the General Education certificate program in the 2019-20 school year, and several other students completed 30 or more hours of college-accredited courses.

“We are on track to have multiple completers of the General Education certificate in the class of 2021,” he said.

CHS has also worked with NACC to offer students a sequence of courses to complete an Early Childhood Education certificate upon graduating.

Crawford said the school would see its first student earn that certificate during the 2020-21 school year.

CHS offers a variety of remote classes to aid and prepare students for the next level of education.

“We utilize our distance learning lab to allow students to take classes remotely through NACC with support from Collinsville teachers while getting exposure to the quality of NACC instructors,”

As a result, Crawford said graduate students had reported back, stating the dual enrollment classes helped them complete their program of study faster, allowing them to enter the workforce sooner.

“We have a strong partnership with NACC, and we hope to continue to strengthen that relationship in the coming years,” he said.

Crawford recognized NACC President David Campbell as an outstanding leader who has emphasized dual enrollment in an effort to get students exposed to the college experience.

“These courses have provided added rigor to our academic program, and I am confident this is one reason Collinsville had been identified for the establishment of a college-going culture,” said Crawford.

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