Grads: College comes before high school
Published 3:00 am Friday, May 20, 2016
Eighteen members of the 2016 high school graduating classes in the Pike County School System have graduated college with associate degrees before they graduate high school next week.
Sixteen students enrolled in the Business and Finance Academy at Pike County High School have graduated with two-year associate degrees from Enterprise State Community College and Cody Johnson and Dakota Wood of Goshen High School students have earned associate degrees through participation in Troy University’s First in Flight and Leadership Academy.
Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said these students are to be congratulated for their outstanding accomplishments.
“These 18 students will receive their high school diplomas next week after receiving associate’s degrees from college,” Bazzell said. “This is exciting for them and for the Pike County School System. We expect the number of students receiving associate degrees through our academy programs to grow. We already have 96 applications for the academy programs from students who will be 10th graders in the 2016-2017 school year. That number does not include 11th and 12th grade students who are already in the programs.”
Bazzell said the initial expectation for enrollment in the academy programs was 120 but that number could reach as high as 200 students a year.
“The Pike County School System is pleased to be able to offer these programs for our students,” he said. “We have seven academies including the Business and Finance, First in Flight and Leadership, Agriscience, Performing Arts, STEM, and Exercise/Science and Health in partnership with Troy University and Health Information Management with Enterprise State Community College.”
The academy students are in high school and college at the same time. Students maintain their home school enrollment and also participate in an academy. There is an individualized plan for each student in each program.
Bazzell said the academy programs are offered at no cost to the students. Tuition into to programs is paid by the school system with assistance from Workforce Development funding.
“The academy students earn 60 hours of college credit over three years,” he said.
“With tuition costs and books, the estimated savings for the parents is $35,000 per student. And, the students gain knowledge and skills that prepare them for life.”
With continued growth of the academy programs, Bazzell said the Pike County School System has purchased land on which to construct a facility so that all of the academy programs can be coordinated under one roof.