Posted: Aug 24, 2012 10:38 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Aug 24, 2012 12:32 PM
HELENA - As kids are gearing back up for school, the Montana University System is reminding high school students they can enroll in college classes.
All of the public two-year colleges in Montana are offering discounts for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors if they start taking college credits early.
Helena College Dean Daniel Bingham said the dual enrollment program not only helps increase high school graduation rates but it also prepares students for the transition to college.
"Dual enrollment is a critical component in a seamless transition process between the elementary school all the way through university," Bingham said.
Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian said the Board of Regents recently voted to lower the cost of dual enrollment, making it more affordable for all Montanan families.
"A three-credit course would cost somewhere over $500 per semester. We now will see all the fees reduced and the tuition cut to a spot where it will be around $150 at most institutions and even down to $0 at some," Christian said.
Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education John Cech says many rural Montanans do not live near a two year college, so several of the colleges are using the Montana Digital Academy to help reach those students. All the courses are online and this year there are more than 100 course being offered.
"This partnership provides students from across the state the opportunity to take dual enrollment courses anywhere, any place and anytime," Cech says.
The Digital Academy offers college credits at Great Falls College, Helena College, Flathead Valley Community College and City College in Billings. (click on each college for dual enrollment information)
To sign up for dual enrollment students must register by the end of August.