Students can start taking college classes at Hightstown High School next spring now that a partnership has been developed with Mercer County Community College.
“Our intent with forming this partnership is that it will go on into the future,” said Mercer County Community College President Patricia Donohue in an interview Thursday, noting the contract with Hightstown High School extends through June 30 of 2014.
Anyone who is qualified to attend MCCC can enroll in the courses at Hightstown High School, which will be taught in the evenings starting Jan. 23, Donohue said. The three courses that will be offered are English 101, Information Systems Technology 101 and English as a Second Language 103.
“A lack of public transportation has prevented some of our residents from attending the college. By bringing the college into our district, more of our residents can begin, continue or complete their college degree,” said Edward Forsthoffer, superintendent of the East Windsor Regional School District, in a statement.
Students who take MCCC classes at the high school will receive a regular MCCC transcript, and because the courses offered are part of a general education core, they are generally transferrable to baccalaureate institutions, Donohue said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for all of our residents and also for some high school students,” Forsthoffer said in the statement.
Forsthoffer told Patch Tuesday the partnership is at no cost to the school district.
“If there are extra costs because we’re there, we’re going to pay those costs,” Donohue said.
The college is also prepared to add additional sections if classes reach the cap, Donohue said.
“For the better students who are trying to get focused on going college, getting that jump start is a huge step forward. It’s one less barrier. They’ve already taken college courses, they know how to do it, they know they can be successful and it keeps them moving forward,” Donohue said.
Hightstown High School students are currently offered some classes online that count as both high school and college credit, and officials are discussing adding college classes in the high school itself, the statement said.
“We were very pleased that the superintendent in Hightstown thought this was a great time for us to work together to help address making those transitions for students into college an easier step,” Donohue said.
MCCC is also opening a remote site at Hopewell Valley Central High School, where five courses will be offered starting in the spring.