Marshall, South Point team up for program

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

SOUTH POINT — South Point High School is now offering students the chance to get a jumpstart on their college education through an innovative program offered by Marshall University.

SPHS is the first school in the state to participate in MU’s College Courses in the High School program. The program offers students taking upper-level high school courses to get credit for them at the college level at the same time. Currently, algebra 3, Spanish 3 and 4 and anatomy and physiology are the courses being offered. SPHS teachers will teach the courses but use MU textbooks.

Principal Eddie Scott said he is excited to offer the unique educational opportunity to his students, especially since the courses will be offered at a discounted rate of $53 per credit hour. For example, if a student takes algebra 3, he or she receives high school credit and also receives three credit hours from Marshall, costing $159.

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“We really think it will go over well,” said Sally Summerfield, high school guidance counselor. “We think it will bring us another opportunity to bring advanced instruction in the classroom. They can get college-level classes here without ever leaving the building, so we feel there is a benefit to that.”

To qualify, juniors or seniors must be currently enrolled at South Point High School or an approved home-school program and have 3.0 or better overall high school grade point average during their freshman and sophomore years.

Students younger than juniors must have a 3 GPA and must provide ACT or SAT scores, as well as have Westest scores of “distinguished” or “above mastery” in the subject area they want to take a college course in.

Summerfield said there are about 70 students at the school who meet the criteria for the program. She said she hopes many of them will take the opportunity to participate in the duel-credit programs.

“It’s a way for us to reach our top kids,” she said. “If they can go this and have one foot in the door, then they are more likely to continue going to college.”

The program is still a work in progress, Summerfield said. The school is working on expanding it in the future to include more courses.