NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University and Pineville High School expanded an existing agreement that will allow Pineville High students to earn an associate degree in general studies along with their high school diplomas.
“Moving forward, we are excited about expanding the NSU dual enrollment opportunities for our high school students,” said Dr. Karl Carpenter, Pineville High School principal. “The goal would be to produce a better-prepared college-bound student with a stronger investment in completing a four-year program. This head start would also give parents the confidence to help their children pursue these endeavors, especially in light of the state's fiscal stance towards education.”
Under the agreement, students can begin in 10th grade taking dual enrollment core courses to earn college credits so that by their senior year they have enough earned credit to receive an associate degree. For students to concurrently earn high school credit and college course credit, faculty must be fully credentialed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools COC for the content area they are teaching. A syllabus developed by NSU faculty must be included and a mutually agreed-upon assessment must be given to provide evidence of student mastery of content and skills.
Several PHS alumni, Rapides Parish school administrators and members of the NSU and PHS faculty were present for yesterday’s announcement in which Carpenter praised the efforts of his team.
“The Class of 2020 will have the first opportunity to earn the associate degree in general studies. We are only the second public high school in Louisiana to do this,” Carpenter said.
The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts signed a similar agreement with Northwestern State last year.
“At NSU, we strive for academic excellence, an outstanding student experience, athletic prominence, market responsiveness and community engagement. We share many of the same values as Pineville High School and we are able to collaborate to offer students a world class education. Now we are taking that to another level,” said Dr. Chris Maggio, who in January will assume the office of acting president of NSU. “We are offering these highly motivated students a chance to earn an this associate degree. There are a lot of folks who worked to make this happen, but it is for the students. It will benefit our region and it will benefit Louisiana.”
“This program is ideal for students who are driven, disciplined and have an eye on their future. They will leave Pineville High with 60 hours of credit to apply to their degree,” said Bonnie White, lead teacher at Pineville High School. “They are starting college in high school and that takes commitment. We look forward to giving the kids the head start they need.”