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February 28, 2017

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UHS courses saved DCS students more than $113,500 in tuition costs; college-level study builds firm foundation for college success

Oct. 20, 2016

 

Successfully completing numerous college-level University in the High School courses before graduation: good. Entering college with 25 credits that would have taken two semesters to earn: great. Earning more than half of those credits for free: priceless.

Alex FioriniDuanesburg Jr./Sr. High School class of 2016 graduate Alex Fiorini entered St. Edward's University in Austin, TX this fall with 13 college credits earned through University in the High School courses offered at Duanesburg High School through a partnership with Schenectady County Community College (SCCC). The college offers the courses and the credits at no charge to DCS students, saving them more than $113,500 in tuition costs for credits earned last school year alone.

While he was a DCS student, Fiorini earned not only the UHS college credits, but also 12 college credits through Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which his college accepted.

While UHS courses and their college credits are free, AP and Project Lead The Way courses carry a nominal test fee (less than $100), which is still a bargain for college-bound students and their parents/guardians compared to the hundreds of dollars per credit hour charged by a college or university.

By earning 25 college credits before even stepping foot on the St. Edward's University campus and considering an average college student earns 12-15 credits a semester, Fiorini started college with the equivalent of a year's worth of study and significant tuition savings. Equally impressive and perhaps even more important, as a university student he was well-prepared and able to move on to higher-level college classes having completed foundational coursework during 10th-12th grade at Duanesburg High School.

"College-level courses in high school helped by giving me a taste for what to expect," Fiorini said. "Those courses met a lot of the pre-requisite courses freshmen would take.

"Other colleges I applied to would have taken the credit hours, but St. Edward's took the most," he noted. "This was very important as a deciding factor."

When asked if most students could handle college-level work in high school, Fiorini said, "The courses are doable by most students. You have to apply yourself. They are very worthwhile - just know they require commitment and your attention. It's also not necessary to know what you want to major in when choosing UHS courses," he added.

"Last school year, seven of our high school teachers participated in the UHS program through our partnership with SCCC to offer more than a dozen college credit-bearing courses at no cost to our students," said Duanesburg Superintendent Christine Crowley.

"Our students, in turn, submitted 244 registrations to SCCC to receive college credits, and 95 percent of those students received credit. Our students earned a total of 773 college credits through UHS courses, a savings of $113,631 for them and their parents compared with normal SCCC tuition costs."

College-credit bearing UHS courses offered to Duanesburg students include: American history, business communication, calculus, English, environmental science, organizational behavior, pre-calculus, principles of business management, senior college preparatory math, sociology, and Spanish III, IV and V.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered to Duanesburg students include AP English 11-language & composition, AP English 12-literature & composition, AP government & politics, and AP world history.

Project Lead The Way courses offered to Duanesburg students include civil engineering & architecture, computer integrated manufacturing, design & drawing for production, and principles of engineering.


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