GLASGOW — The Barren County School System has entered into an agreement with Lindsey Wilson College to offer dual-credit courses.
The agreement with LWC is an additional dual-credit course offering for students enrolled at Barren County High School and the Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning.
By taking dual-credit courses, students can take college classes at a reduced rate while still at the high school level.
“Dual-credit for us as a Barren County initiative is really about opportunity,” said Scott Harper, director of instruction and technology. “It’s just trying to find opportunities for our students who are interested in looking at different courses that they may not have at the high school or they know they are going to go to college and try a college course while still having the structure and support of the high school.”
The agreement with LWC is for the spring semester for students wanting to take English classes as dual-credit courses.
This is not the first time the school system has had an agreement with LWC for dual-credit.
“We’ve had relationships with them before in some other programs,” Harper said.
Dual-credit courses can be taken in a variety of ways. Some are available on-line, while others are taught by college professors at BCHS. In other instances, BCHS students go to the college campuses to take the courses.
Students enrolled in the school system’s BAVEL program primarily take dual-credit courses online that are offered by Western Kentucky University and the Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College. Both educational institutions have campuses in Glasgow.
“We do have some students who live in the local area who will go on campus at SkyCTC to take some classes. We also had a student taking a class at EKU (Eastern Kentucky University) because they live in that vicinity, so we had an agreement with them,” said Melinda Owens, director of counseling for BAVEL. “We sill have that agreement, but it was only last semester that he took the class.”
For the fall semester there were 15 BAVEL students who took dual-credit courses. Collectively, the students earned roughly 75 college credit hours.
This semester there are about 20 BAVEL students taking dual-credit courses, who will earn around 90 college credit hours by the end of the school year, she said.
BCHS has partnerships with WKU, LWC, SkyCTC and Murray State University.
“We have about 300 seats. I’m not gong to stay students, because we have students who are enrolled in multiple classes with all of those institutions for the spring semester,” said Angie Frazier, a counselor at BCHS, adding that a majority of the students take classes offered by WKU and SkyCTC.
Frazier has noticed a growth in the high school’s on-line program for dual-credit courses.
“I think that’s simply because the institutions are finding personnel to come into the school. But a lot of our teachers are, I guess you wold call them dually-certified, so they are certified with Western or SkyCTC and they teach on our campus,” she said.
Students who take dual-credit courses can get at least half a year of college work done and sometimes more while in high school, Harper said.
“We have great partners with our dual-credit relationships. They are corresponding and dialoguing often about kids and schedules and working on that to help students transition,” he said.
At one time dual-credit courses were offered only to upperclassmen, but Frazier said some institutions are allowing younger students to take dual-credit courses. She added it really depends on the program and the institution that is offering the classes.
There are scholarships available for dual-credit courses for students who qualify. With the scholarships, students are reimbursed for the cost of the courses, Harper said.
The school system has been offering dual-credit courses for at least 14 years and is always looking for ways to expand the program.
“We are working with Western next door to align those schedules with our bell schedule so students can possibly go over there and take a class that maybe they can’t send a teacher in to teach (at the high school),” Frazier said.
BCHS is hoping to be able to do that starting next school year.