On April 25, Butte High School parents will be introduced to the early college program that I have referenced in my previous articles known as 3+1+3.
This meeting will be held at Butte High School at 7 p.m. The early college program will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit at Montana Tech as well as high school credit at Butte High School simultaneously. This program is different from the dual credit program where singleton courses are offered to students for both college and high school credit and are not associated with a career pathway.
Instead, courses will be offered in a connected sequence within the STEM Pathway - science, technology, engineering and mathematics beginning Fall 2012. The following year, Fall 2013, we will launch the general studies pathway for students pursuing degrees in business, law, journalism, etc. and by Fall 2014, the career technical education pathway will begin for students seeking two-year associate degrees.
For the 2012-2013 school year, students will be eligible to enroll in the early college program if he/she is a full time student enrolled at Butte High School (four periods each day) and/or a junior or senior. Students must have also met the prerequisites for college coursework and have taken and passed the COMPASS Test required by Montana Tech which predicts student success in college.
Students will need to apply for enrollment in the early college program with parent permission. High school juniors or seniors will enroll as regular college students. The cost for each unit of study will be $50, which will be a substantial savings to parents for college costs.
Additionally, students who finish the program will hold in their hands a Montana Tech transcript that will be welcome at any Montana university as well as receiving a high school diploma. Below is a listing of the courses for the STEM pathway that students will receive college and high school credit.
“We cannot predict the future. But we can create it,” is a statement from the book “GREAT by Choice” by Jim Collins that I referenced last month that accurately describes how this program came about. Great districts work collaboratively with great ideas and students are the beneficiaries of this kind of forward thinking.
The early college program is a direct result of the collaborative strategic planning process that our community, administrators, teachers and trustees have engaged in over the past two years.
From the original seed ideas of preparing our students for the 21st-century skills and jobs that haven’t been created yet, Judy Jonart, director of curriculum, and Amy Verlanic, executive director of the institute for educational opportunities at Montana Tech have been working steadily to build this program.
As with all great ideas and great partnerships, we can finally begin to implement this program that will benefit scores of students in our community.
Additionally, Mrs. Jonart will be pursuing national accreditation for this unique program in the coming year. Let’s continue to choose to be great for our students by creating more opportunities to give them a bright future.
— Linda Reksten is superintendent of Butte School District.