The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is now offering the College in High School Program in collaboration with the Community College of Beaver County.
The unique program, taught online, permits students to be exposed to college-level material and earn college credits while still in high school.
Five initial courses are being offered. Each course will be taught online during the regular school day by a PA Cyber instructor who is approved by CCBC.
The cost of College in High School courses from CCBC is at the family's own expense and is $50 per credit, with initial classes providing three or four credits. The cost of the required textbooks will be sponsored by PA Cyber.
To participate in the program, PA Cyber students must register through the school's CIHS program and must be of junior status (having completed at least English 10 or equivalent) and up to date or ahead in coursework. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and be recommended by their academic adviser.
"The beauty of this program is the low cost and the ability of our students to attend college classes seamlessly along with their regular high school classes," said Mike Smith, who administers the CIHS program. "Our online high school students will learn the same course content as their college counterparts sitting in a classroom."
The program has been launched for the 2015-16 fall semester, offering five courses: Principles of Biology, Western Civilization 1, Vietnam, General Psychology and English Composition. The biology course provides four credits; the others, three credits.
Thanks to Pennsylvania's credit transfer system, credits will be transferrable to participating colleges or universities within the Commonwealth, and are widely accepted by other colleges and universities across the country.
CCBC has several dual enrollment programs in partnership with area high schools, but this is the community college's first venture with a public cyber charter school to offer online dual enrollment, according to CCBC."This program will enable students to enroll in transfer-friendly, college-level courses and pay a fraction of standard tuition that they would pay at a four-year college," said Dr. Melissa Denardo, CCBC vice president for academic affairs/provost. "If they take full advantage of this program, they will graduate from high school far ahead of the game....both intellectually and financially."