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Jefferson College offers several options to students who wish to accelerate their academic careers by earning college credit while still attending high school. The Dual Credit program is nationally accredited, and all courses are taught by qualified faculty who hold appropriate credentials in their subjects. Students attending public or private high schools and homeschooled students may apply. Tuition is greatly reduced in these programs, providing substantial savings for students and families seeking to keep college affordable.
These early college programs provide numerous benefits. Students will:
- encounter challenging learning opportunities that enhance and extend the high school curriculum;
- avoid unnecessary duplication in coursework when moving from high school to college;
- access academic and social support services and materials available to college students, including advising, library, and tutoring services;
- increase college readiness, easing the transition from high school to college;
- complete degree programs in a shorter time period;
- participate in college activities; and,
- save money. The College has agreements with many local high schools that allow the student to only pay one-third of an already discounted tuition rate, resulting in a cost of only $75 per three credit hour course. In comparison, a three credit hour course at a public university in Missouri can cost more than $1,000.
High school and homeschooled students have the following options for early college programs through Jefferson College. With several choices, it can be difficult to know which option best fits each student’s unique situation. A helpful program comparison chart shows some of the main differences between them.
Qualified high school students may take general education college courses through Jefferson College in cooperation with Jefferson County school districts. These courses are completed at the student’s home high school and are taught by high school instructors holding Jefferson College credentials. The credits earned can be applied toward both high school graduation and a college degree. In addition, students receive a reduced tuition rate.
Students may choose to earn college credit by taking courses on a Jefferson College campus or online while they are simultaneously attending high school. When coordinated with a high school counselor, these courses can count for both high school and college credit.
The Jefferson College Early College Academy will provide high school students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree while earning their high school diploma. This rigorous 62 credit hour academic cohort program will be available to high-achieving high school students in the Jefferson College service district. The program will consist of course work offered on the Arnold campus and online.
Jefferson College was the first community college in the state designated as an Area Technical School that allows county high school students to participate in several career-technical education programs. Courses in some of these programs also earn college credit. Students may complete technical skills assessments and earn highly marketable industry recognized credentials through these programs, enabling them to present themselves as especially qualified to employers. Bus transportation is provided for students to and from their high schools to attend classes at the Jefferson College campus in Hillsboro.
Jefferson College is a Postsecondary Institutional Member of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, Inc. (NACEP) and was awarded National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships Accreditation on April 8, 2016. NACEP accreditation status is conferred for seven years. This accreditation helps ensure high quality Dual Credit course offerings that are equal to their on-campus counterparts. For more information about the standards used to evaluate Dual Credit programs, see the NACEP website.