Parents of 2020 seniors saving $1.5 million
During the last year, Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) has had the opportunity to share with numerous community groups how proud we are of our concurrent enrollment students — high schoolers earning college credit — and our partnerships with school districts across the region.
It has been exciting each spring to tally up the number of area seniors that have concurrent enrollment credits as they graduate from high school.
This year, seniors across Iowa Valley have earned a total of 7,686 college credits during their high school careers. That represents a total savings to parents across our region of more than $1.5 million in tuition and fees at today’s level –not counting the potential additional savings of taking some of those courses at a 4-year institution tuition. Several of these students will complete certificates or a degree prior to walking across their high school commencement stages later in May. They will be ready to transfer to a 4-year college or go directly into the workforce.
IVCCD coordinates with all the school districts in the region to identify the courses their high school students are interested in and how they are to be delivered – on our campuses, at high school campuses with community college faculty, at high school faculty mentored by our faculty liaisons, or online.
IVCCD student services staff meet regularly with high school counselors and principals to assure that everything is working out for our joint student body. We have a contractual agreement with each school district to guide the awarding of credit for both high school and college, as well as determining how we work together to meet student needs. And our faculty do their best to reach each and every student through their courses.
This academic year, Marshalltown Community College, Iowa Valley Grinnell and Ellsworth Community College have offered 183 specific courses for concurrent enrollment, not counting the regularly scheduled courses that high school students can also enroll in. District headcount for concurrent enrollment this past fall semester was 784; spring headcount for concurrent enrollment is 857.
A study was done in 2017 by the Community College Research Center documenting that Iowa students who have the experience of taking college classes in high school will graduate from college with either an Associate or Bachelor award within five years. And for those students who transfer those credits to a four-year college, 73% will complete an award. This provides us with a view to why we want to offer courses to this group and how important our work is with high school students in our region.
MaryAnne Nickle is the Dean of Iowa Valley Grinnell, a satellite campus of Marshalltown Community College.