Concurrent Enrollment Next on the Cutting Line?

By: Ethan Glenn Robinson

In face of the escalating budget crisis, more desperate action besides the four-day week is being considered. Implementing a four-day week would only alleviate for roughly $250,000 being lost each year, leaving $750,000 that must be further eliminated. One possible action, suggested by some teachers, is to modify the concurrent enrollment program at Sterling High School.

The concurrent enrollment program through Northeastern Junior College is one of the most appealing factors for SHS. Through the program, the school district agrees to pay for up to eight college credits for each student participant. Concurrent enrollment is undoubtedly beneficial for numerous students, some achieving around 20 transferable college credits by the time they graduate. These facts will cause many to be wary of any action to cut the program.

Suggested measures to adapt the program, in order to save money, are to limit it to senior students only and also to isolate concurrent classes to being taught on SHS campus with SHS faculty. Limiting college classes to being in the high school means that SHS would theoretically still be capable of teaching Composition I and II, honors government, American history, college-level math classes,  and honors psychology. However, all other college classes offered through NJC would be unavailable to students as concurrent enrollment.

From the students’ perspective, limiting concurrent enrollment to those in their senior year would greatly hinder their ability to achieve as many college credits. Offering only core college classes may also take away the opportunity for a student to take different classes that contribute to their unique academic/career path beyond high school.

On the other side of the spectrum, some teachers and staff assert that this offered cut would save the school district money but be just as capable as before if taught on SHS campus only.

Either way, Superintendent DeLay’s core message from the latest Budget Exigency article should be remembered; the opportunities of our students will always be at the forefront of discussion and the school district would consider all other possibilities before they address cutting student educational opportunities.