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High school students can get a jump on college

Thanks to a partnership between Aldine ISD and North Harris College, high school juniors and seniors can get a head start on college by taking dual credit courses this coming school year. And not only can students start on their college careers while still in high school, their parents will receive financial assistance.

The college, which is part of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District (NHMCCD) will pay half of the tuition ($84) for students who enroll in dual credit courses. Considering the fact that Texas colleges and universities have increased their tuition rates, this is a program parents of students who are interested in attending college should take advantage of, said Charlotte Davis, Aldine ISD’s director of guidance, counseling and at-risk students.

“We appreciate North Harris College finding the funding to assist our students,” Davis said. “Members of our high school teaching faculty are trained to teach these classes, so students don’t have to leave their respective campuses to take dual credit courses.”

Dual credit courses are college level classes offered at all five of Aldine ISD’s senior high schools. The classes are open only to juniors and seniors and can be taken during the regular class schedule. To be eligible to take a dual credit course, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete a NHMCCD application for admission and an Exceptional Admission Program application.
  • Meet THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment) requirements and college level placement requirements.
  • Complete a dual credit orientation.

“There are advantages to taking dual credit courses,” Davis said. “Students can get a head start on their college careers. In some instances, a student could enter college with as many as 15 credit hours under their belts by taking dual credit courses and Advanced Placement tests. Parents can save money through this program, and with college tuition rates on the rise, that’s a huge plus.”

Davis added the credits will transfer to more state colleges or university in most states.

She added students can learn more about dual credit courses from their college connection counselors at their respective high schools or contact Charlotte Twardowski at North Harris College at (281) 765-7835.

“We would like to see dual credit courses filled to capacity this year,” Davis said. “These courses challenge students and that will help prepare them for college. We do anticipate increased participation this year due to the funding assistance students and parents will receive from North Harris College.”