New college program could benefit R-III students

By: Derrick Forsythe, Correspondent
Posted 12/28/20

A barrier that previously existed for R-III students wanting to advance in their education has been  removed with a recent change to the structure of dual-credit programming.

During its …

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New college program could benefit R-III students

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A barrier that previously existed for R-III students wanting to advance in their education has been  removed with a recent change to the structure of dual-credit programming.

During its monthly meeting on Dec. 10, the Warren County R-III School Board explored the benefits of a newly-designed program that will allow students the reassurance of taking college classes while in high school with the guarantee of those credits transferring. In the past, that was not always the case.

“Previously, there were difficulties for students as they were transferring between schools to the university level,” said R-III Superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith. 

With the approval of a Core 42 program, the transitioning process from the community college level to a four-year university will be made easier and ensure students peace of mind. Legislation passed at the state level guarantees that 42 credits from a core group of classes will transfer between Missouri public colleges. This means students who take the Core 42 offerings, through R-III’s partnerships with either St. Charles Community College or Missouri Southern, will be able to smoothly transition those credits to institutions such as the University of Missouri, Missouri S&T, University of Missouri-St. Louis or Missouri Western. 

“This is great for students who want to push or challenge themselves and want to ultimately attend a Missouri school,” said Klinginsmith. “It’s a great opportunity for students who want to go down that road of getting ahead while in high school.”

Previously some students were putting forth the work in anticipation of getting ahead in their pursuit of a degree, only to find the courses in which they invested time and finances must be retaken at their chosen school of transfer.

“Legislature stepped in and said that if you’re a Missouri public school, you have to have 42 transferable hours,” said Klinginsmith. 

The changes could provide multiple benefits for students in R-III, including a significant savings toward their post-secondary education, with credits offered at a rate of $50 per credit hour. Students who opt to take the Core 42 through Missouri Southern and qualify for free-and-reduced lunch are eligible for free tuition.

“That’s basically a year-and-a-half of college knocked out in high school for $2,100,” said Klinginsmith. “That’s a pretty good deal. For some kids, it’s completely free.”

While many students are eligible for the program, it may not be ideal for everyone as it relates to long-term goals.

“If a student is planning to go to college out of state, they may want to look at taking AP courses, because those courses go throughout the nation,” said Klinginsmith.

There are several options for students as it relates to structuring the Core 42 to work for them. A student may begin taking the courses as early as the second semester of his or her junior year. They may pursue all 42 credits or take a smaller selection of classes around the traditional high school offerings. The courses would serve the dual purpose of counting toward both high school graduation and college credit.

“Most of our graduates end up attending St. Charles Community College,” said Klinginsmith. “It would be a great program for those planning to go that route.”

He says students still have the option of continuing the traditional high school route and earning A+ tuition benefits to use through St. Charles Community College after graduation. 

This would provide the opportunity of a free associate degree while not expediting the process, as with the Core 42.

Warren County School District, St. Charles Community College, SCC

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