RICHMOND - Officials with the Edison Local School District want the public to know more about its dual enrollment program that allows students to earn college credits while they're still enrolled at the high school.
The dual enrollment program is run in conjunction with Eastern Gateway Community College. It uses adjunct professors at the high school and allows students to earn an associate's degree while never leaving the high school, according to Jamie Evans, 12th-grade English teacher.
"Juniors and seniors are eligible for the program," said Evans, adding the program is free. "We offer more than 40 credit hours here in the building."
Adjunct professors at the high school include Diane Sokol, math teacher, who teaches statistics, college algebra and calculus; Ellen Swickard, who teaches college chemistry I and II; Tony Kovalesky, who teaches college government; Debbie Kovalesky, who teaches college-level Spanish; Dani Carroll, who teaches college music appreciation; Rosann Groves, who teaches speech; and Evans, who teaches college-level English 101 and 102.
"There are pre-requisites that (students) have to follow," continued Evans, adding students have to attain at least a B average in previous subject courses. "We try to keep (the program) open to everyone. They all have the chance to go to Eastern Gateway and graduate."
Evans said Edison has been very pro-active about the program, encouraging teachers to obtain the credentials they need and students to enroll in the program.
"We've had the program in place for 10 years," he said. "This what makes us unique. We've had the program the longest and offer more (college level) classes than any other than any other school in the area."
Evans said adjunct professors have to be trained to teach any college-level course.
"(Teachers) have to have a minimum of 18 hours toward a master's degree in their subject area," said Evans, adding the subjects have to be very specific for teachers. "Edison was very pro-active about this program 10 years ago. (The school administration) encouraged us to get our master's degrees so we could offer this program to as many students as possible. We've even had students who actually graduated with an associates degree in general studies here, and they never stepped foot in EGCC."
Alexis Pugh, a 2011 graduate of Edison, said the program helped her further her education.
"I feel that the dual enrollment opportunity offered at Edison High School gave me a tremendous advantage when entering my first year of college. I came to the University of Akron with 35 credits, covering almost all of the general education requirements," said Pugh.
Former Edison student Morgan Brown also said the program gave her a step up into the world of college.
"I am a sophomore at Ohio State University," said Morgan. "I was ranked first in the Edison High School Class of 2012, graduating with a 4.0 grade-point average. Because I graduated from (high school) with 58 college credits, I was able to earn my associate of arts degree from Eastern Gateway Community College after my freshman year at Ohio State University through the state of Ohio's Credit When It's Due Initiative. Edison's dual enrollment program gave me a tremendous advantage over my peers."
Former Edison student Julie Wiedaman also was enthusiastic about the program.
"I was able to schedule my classes way before my classmates because I came into college with 51 credit hours, which accounted for most of my general classes," she said. "I felt well prepared during my first year of college because I already had a feel of what a college classes and exams looked like. The dual enrollment program gave me an advantage over my peers by being more prepared for classes. I am able to graduate with my bachelor's degree in three years instead of four, saving a lot of money. I am very grateful for everything Edison High School has done for me to prepare me for college."
For information, call (740) 282-0065.