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Troy University, AISA partner in online dual enrollment program

Troy University and the Alabama Independent School Association formalized an agreement Tuesday that will provide “ACCELERATE,” the University’s online learning portal for non-public high school students, to member schools of AISA.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our students and schools, and teachers in our schools as well they’ll have an opportunity to work with Troy and actually teach some of their classes,” said Michael McLendon, executive director of AISA. “Through the dual-enrollment process, students will have access to numerous college classes they may not have access to at their local schools. The great thing about it is they can earn high school credit and, at the same time, earn credits for college courses.”

The program will provide opportunities for students in the 10th through the 12th grades, who have a 3.0 high school grade point average and a minimum score of 20 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT. Under the agreement, students will receive a discounted rate of $145 per credit hour for dual enrollment classes, which are taken from the University’s required general studies courses.

This agreement is the first to establish a formal academic relationship between the University and AISA, and its member schools.

Eric Burkett, headmaster at AISA member school Pike Liberal Arts School, said PLAS has already partnered with Troy in the past, but is excited to see more access being given to the private school.

“I think it’s going to deepen our partnership with Troy,” Burkett said. “We have some students already doing ACCELERATE courses through Troy. This is going to broaden the opportunities that PLAS students have.”

Burkett said the program will be administered at the school by having participating students take the online college courses in the school’s computer lab during the selected periods.

McLendon said completing dual enrollment credits helps high school students graduate high school ahead of the curve.

“The ultimate impact is they get that college level course experience,” McLendon said. “When they graduate high school, they’re a step ahead. They already know what college is like and they’re ahead of their peers stepping forward.”

McLendon said he expects about 6,000 students across the system’s 76 member schools could have access to the program beginning in the fall.

“This partnership with the AISA is a natural fit and it is one that we want to see continue to grow,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “We currently have almost 600 students from AISA institutions studying with us on campus, and I see that number continuing to grow through this partnership. We have 170 AISA students enrolled in dual enrollment and that is a number I see growing exponentially. It is a great partnership. We value what they do, and we will continue to build on the many success stories that we have experienced together.”

Buddy Starling, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said such outreach opportunities are important to the University.

“It is a perfect opportunity for parents and students to get a head start on earning college credit at a discounted rate,” Starling said. “Dual enrollment in many ways is a great bridge from high school to students. Outreach is the life-blood of our business. We want to be there to support them in any way we can. The better our relationships with our local school systems within the state, the better our enrollment picture looks for the future, but also the better it is for the communities we serve within our state.”