Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
LUCASVILLE — Fourteen students are enrolled in the dual enrollment program at the Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech) in Lucasville, giving them a leg-up on college credits while still in high school. SciotoTech Superintendent Stan Jennings said it’s important for the school to maintain its funding, to continue offering programs such as this to students.
Just two weeks ago, Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed a new school funding plan designed to boost districts that are lagging in property values and household incomes. Under the proposal, SciotoTech stands to gain a 12 percent increase to collect $3,024,925 beginning in 2014. Jennings said that would be great for SciotoTech, as long as the proposal is passed and that amount doesn’t drop.
“In our region, the career technical centers have done very well,” Jennings said. “The governor does seem to recognize the validity of career tech and seems to embrace it. He always ties us back to the workforce. He always ties us back to the next steps with students.”
Jennings said the proposed funding increase, along with possible assistance from the governor’s $300 million innovation grants, is money that the school could use to continue successful programs like dual enrollment. The program allows students to earn college credit hours while still attending high school and saves the student time and money completing their college education.
“We are in the fifth year of dual enrollment and we feel we have done very well for our population base, but sooner or later the funds we have used for that — which was Seniors to Sophmores back in the Strickland Administration — will run out. What we plan on doing is potentially put in something for the innovation grant that allows that to continue on,” Jennings said.
SciotoTech senior Alex Hall attends high school classes during the day, and he attends evening post-secondary IT classes at SciotoTech and works on computers for the school to pay for his evening courses. By the time he graduates high school, he will already have a one-year computer certification and 29 hours of college credit.
“I have a lot on my plate, but I’m going to get a lot farther in life because of the SCCTC,” Hall said. “I was looking in Southern State. I’m thinking about working with my associate’s degree in computer engineering because I’ll know most of the stuff they’re going to be teaching. The adult-ed program is looking into transferring my credits from my class here to there.”
He said the dual enrollment program will allow him to skip his freshman year and dive right into his associate classes in computer engineering.
SciotoTech senior Emily Joyce is also in the engineering program. After high school, she said she plans to study biomedical engineering at Wright State University and hopes to someday design prosthetics. She said the dual enrollment program allows her to get to the meat of her college program without taking as many unrelated courses.
“With the Seniors to Sophomores (dual enrollment) program, I don’t have to take English. Which is a big thing for me, because that’s two semesters of English I don’t have to pay for. Two English classes I don’t have to sit through. It’s going to be a lot of time saved and money saved,” Joyce said.
Thanks to the dual enrollment at SciotoTech, Joyce has to only complete two freshmen-level classes before beginning her sophomore year.
“I think it’s a great program and a great opportunity. A lot of people don’t know about it. They don’t know what’s going on here. I tell my friends that I’ll get 18 college hours and I’ll skip freshmen year, and they’re like, ‘wow, I should have went out there.’” Joyce said. “When I graduate, I’m going to have a technician degree, 18 semester hours for college and my high school diploma; compared to a typical student who will just have a high school diploma.”
Jennings said it’s important to continue this program at SciotoTech and hopes new state funding options will help fund dual enrollment opportunities for students.
Ryan Scott Ottneycan be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.