Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Students can earn college credits while in high school


Imagine graduating high school having already earned college credits or high school credits in German, psychology, economics or medical terminology.

That is a possibility at Kimball High School, according to Guidance Counselor Chauncey Pedersen.

A variety of courses are offered locally, through distance learning, for which Kimball has no certificated teacher from high schools across Nebraska.

This program allows students to take high school courses of interest during any regular school, but the system does not come without disadvantages.

“Since you are working with high schools across the state, the toughest part is getting schedules to align,” Pedersen said.

In addition to offering courses from other Nebraska high schools, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln offers classes for high school credits.

“We had three students take a class from UNL, for high school credits,” Pedersen said. “Classes like pre-engineering, these are things that students cannot take locally.”

Currently Kimball High School partners with Western Nebraska Community College to offer dual credit courses as well.

These are classes that students take while enrolled in high school which offer credits for both high school and college.

Dual credit courses through WNCC must be taught by certificated teachers and can be offered as online courses, with varying degrees of interaction between student and teacher, or as a distance learning course.

Distance learning, for both high school credit and dual credit courses are taken at the high school while the class is taught elsewhere and broadcast into the classroom.

This option allows for inter-cactions between students in the class throughout the state as well as the teacher, who is conducting the class from another location.

Perhaps the best incentive for students and parents alike is that WNCC offers the dual credit courses, which should easily transfer to any college, at half the tuition to high school students and the sky is the limit.

“There really is no limit, there are some pre-requisites,” Pedersen said. “One of the classes seniors take most often is college algebra, but to be accepted into the class they must score a minimum of 22 on ACT math.”

Pedersen counsels that students must be motivated and it helps to have an idea of what they want as a college major.

“Basically it depends on what the student wants to go into. There is a slew of classes offered through WNCC, and we just received online offerings for things like computer applications. They can take wellness, personal health, english composition, there is a lot available to them,” Pedersen added. “These students have to be motivated because it is a pretty rigorous class. They have to be self-disciplined because they are doing this on their own. It takes a well disciplined student. Our expectations are the same for any class, because they are also receiving high school credit, failure would still land them on the ineligibility list.”

To keep parents and students more informed of the additional offerings, Pedersen said that when they register for the coming year they will be given a list of dual credit courses available through WNCC.

Students and parents who are interested in learning more about these courses can talk with Chauncey Pedersen at the Kimball High School.


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