Trimble High School Offers College-Level Science Class

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Starting this year, Trimble High School students will have the opportunity to earn college credits without ever leaving their high school campus.

Science teacher Amrik Brar is offering a more rigorous year-long anatomy and physiology class. Students who earn a C or higher will receive four college credits. Those who earn a D will still receive high school credit.

“If this works out well, we’d look to expand this to English, psychology, math and maybe some other sciences,” said Principal Matthew Curtis.

The school partnered with Hocking College to implement the program. A Hocking College faculty member reviewed the class curriculum and deemed it equivalent to the two-year institution’s Human Organism class, explained Linda Deeds, Hocking College’s director of professional development.

The college also reviewed the teacher’s qualifications.

“We have the same requirements of our high school teachers as for our adjunct professors, so it varies based on the content and the subject,” Deeds said.

The class is part of the college’s nursing program. Students who don’t intend to study nursing can have it count as an elective. Those who don’t plan to attend Hocking can have it transferred to another institution.

Advanced and college-level coursework has been available to Athens County’s students for years. Some schools offer Advance Placement courses, which can count as college credit if the student pays for and passes the AP exam at the end of the course. Students can also take classes at Ohio University or Hocking College, a set-up called post-secondary enrollment.

Trimble and Alexander High Schools are the only two schools in the county that offer the college-level courses in this way — on the high school campus with no requirement to take a special exam. Hocking College calls this type of program dual enrollment. Tri-County Career Center has offered it in the past, but not this year.

Previously, Alexander offered courses in English, math and biological anatomy, all through Hocking College. This year, the school is offering anatomy, explained Principal Frank Doudna.

Principals at Nelsonville-York and Athens High Schools both have said they’re looking into dual enrollment, which opens up the possibilities to students who may have transportation limitations, said David Hanning, principal at Athens High School.

“Plus, by keeping them on campus, we’d be able to provide more support during the school day,” Hanning added.

There’s an advantage for the school, too. School districts are required by law to pay for a student’s post-secondary education, whether the classes are taken on the high school campus or elsewhere.

If the class is offered at the high school, the district pays for the credits. In Trimble’s case, that translates to $132 for four credits at Hocking College. If the student travels to Hocking or Ohio University for a class, the district pays closer to $2,000, or about half of what the district receives from the state for that student, explained Treasurer Cindy Rhonemus.

Deeds said Hocking doesn’t charge for evaluating the course work or the teacher’s credentials because it’s viewed as a recruiting tool and a way to create an early and positive college-like experience.

“We’re helping (students) know they can do college-level work,” Deeds said.