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Board wants dual enrollment students to pay



The State Board for Community Colleges recently came out with a decision which may impact students in Pulaski County who are part of the Dual Enrollment program.

In an attempt to bring a uniform enrollment practice throughout Virginia, the State Board for Community Colleges has proposed that high school students taking courses in community colleges should pay a fee of $50 per credit. Currently, Pulaski County students who take part in the Dual Enrollment program pay no fee to attend classes at New River Community College.

According to Pulaski School Superintendent Kevin Siers, last year the Pulaski County school system issued 3,476 college course credits under the dual enrollment program with New River Community College. College courses often consist of three or four credit hours per semester. If the proposed changes of $50 per credit hour were to have gone into effect last year, the amount collectively charged to Pulaski County students/parents would have been $173,800.

According to Siers, some CTE students take six hours’ worth of college credit per semester while attending high school. With the new guidelines, which are set to go into place in the fall of 2019, these students would pay $300 to take six hours of college courses which are, essentially, free of charge today. All of the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School courses are dual enrollment.

Pulaski County School Board members expressed concern that any increased cost to take these courses, even at a discounted rate of $10 per class, could potentially prompt parents to discourage their children from taking Dual Enrollment courses.

According to the school board’s Mike Barbour, the dual enrollment program has saved parents millions of dollars in tuition costs over the last several years by allowing students to complete college courses while still in high school.

Last year, two students earned Associates Degrees from New River Community College while attending Pulaski County secondary schools.



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