Starting this fall, Camas High School students will have the opportunity to earn college credits without leaving their high school campus.
“The college credit, granted by Central Washington University, will provide our students at the successful completion of a high school course, immediate college credit that is accepted at CWU as well as most public colleges and universities,” said Susan Asher, assistant principal. “These courses will be taught by current Camas High School teachers who have applied, been accepted, and trained by CWU.”
Calculus will be the only subject eligible for the credit during the 2015-16 school year, but several other courses will be added for the following year, including English, Spanish and Physical Education, according to Asher.
College in the Classroom is different from Advanced Placement classes, where college credit is determined by a final exam. Students taking College in the Classroom courses are granted credit as they would be in college, through successful completion of daily work, quizzes and tests.
“We have a growing number of students who take Advanced Placement classes and earn varying levels of college credit depending on which university a student attends after high school graduation, and what score that student received on the annual exam,” Asher said. “However, many students who are ‘in the middle’ and are afraid of taking these AP courses, but are definitely academic minded, will now have an opportunity to experience college courses.”
An added benefit of the College in the Classroom program is that it keeps more students at the high school who might otherwise opt for the Running Start program at Clark College. Asher noted that some students enrolled in that program have “slipped through the cracks,” and did not graduate on time.
“We are attempting to keep our Running Start students at CHS and offering them opportunities to keep them engaged and tied to our school,” she said. “Plus, potential Running Start students, by staying at the high school, would be saving money on transportation and parking costs, books and other miscellaneous fees.”
Every high school student who elects to take a course for credit through CWU will be issued a student ID card and have access to an online library. Courses would follow a subject specific syllabus and students would take college finals.
Teachers will be evaluated by administrators from CHS and a designated evaluator from CWU.
Camas is not the first district to offer the program. The Vancouver School District uses Washington State University for its College in the Classroom program, noted Jeff Snell, assistant superintendent.
“This is a good option for students who want to earn college credit and stay on campus,” he said.