EL Students Have Chance to Tackle College Early

Rahma Ali, ’15

College for ME-Androscoggin’s goal is to double the number of college degree holders in Androscoggin County by 2015. Science teacher Kim Finnerty is an Early College Coach here at Edward Little High School who can help students choose the right classes for them and fill out their applications. “The idea is that students have the opportunity to experience a college class and learn the difference between high school and college,” Finnerty said.

Thanks to the program, students are able to enroll in a college class while still in high school. Some of the possibilities are Bates College in Lewiston, Central Maine Community College in Auburn, Kaplan University in Lewiston, Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn Campus, and University of Maine at Augusta.

When signing up for classes, in many cases, students will chose core classes that freshmen in college would normally take. Students who are interested in applying must have a C average or better in all their classes. Students are not eligible to take online classes through this program, and should only be looking at courses that don’t have prerequisites. Juniors and seniors are only allowed to take the college courses that are available after school.

Junior Justice Guimond said, “I took College Writing at USM-LAC. It was a good class and I learned a lot, but I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone who is extremely busy to take it because it is a lot of work.”

Once a student chooses a course, and a college, it’s best to go talk to their guidance counselor, or even Mrs.Finnerty, about the best way to fit it into your high school schedule. Also if the student plays a sport, they should talk to their coach to ensure the class will not interfere with practices or games.

Some of the colleges charge fees for the courses. CMCC requires a fee of about $75 or $100, depending on the course. USM LAC and Saint Josephs charge $100. However, Kaplan, UMA and Bates courses are free.The tuition waivers only cover three credits. Therefore if a student are interested in courses that are four credits, they will need to pay a portion of the tuition.

The school doesn’t provide transportation, so students will need to figure out that part ahead of time. Some students take courses with friends to enable car-pooling.

The courses, which are first-come-first-serve, start Jan. 21, and students have until then to sign up, though classes often fill up before then. Interested students should see Mrs. Finnerty about applying.

 

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