JumpStart Program Expands Early College Credit Options for HCPSS Students
Posted: November 21st, 2017
Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has announced an innovative program that enables students to earn up to 60 college credits while in high school. Offered in partnership with Howard Community College (HCC), JumpStart is designed to give students a valuable head start in earning a college degree or preparing for a career at a greatly reduced cost. The pilot expansion of dual enrollment options will also alleviate overcrowding at the County’s three most overcrowded high schools.
Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, expanded JumpStart programs will be introduced at Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools, where enrollment is currently under school capacity. Enrollment will also be opened to students at Centennial, Howard, and Long Reach high schools, which currently exceed target capacity levels. Eligible students participating in these programs will be able to earn enough college credits to complete up to one or two years of college by the time they graduate high school.
HCPSS can accommodate up to 500 Centennial, Howard, and Long Reach students who choose to change schools in order to take advantage of JumpStart programs at Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools next year. In addition to the new programs offered through the JumpStart initiative, all HCPSS high school students can earn one or more college credits by taking dual credit courses at their high school or enrolling in college courses on the HCC campus. The discounted JumpStart tuition cost is available for all students. In addition, JumpStart provides several Structured Options:
- Early college 30 credit programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), cybersecurity, computer science, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, general studies, secondary teaching, public health and health sciences are offered at Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools and the Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL). Students who enroll by grade 10 may earn up to 30 college credits, or the equivalent of a full year of college.
- Early college 60 credit programs: Eligible students enrolling as 9th graders at Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools may graduate with up to 60 college credits and an Associate of Arts (AA) in general studies from HCC.
JumpStart offers advantages for families in financing a college education. Through the partnership with HCC, tuition for early college credit is 50 percent of regular tuition rates and this rate is paid by HCPSS for students eligible for free and reduced price meals (FARMs). HCPSS will provide transportation for Centennial, Howard or Long Reach students who choose to enroll in JumpStart programs at Oakland Mills or River Hill high schools. Students taking courses on the HCC campus must provide their own transportation.
Students designated to attend Centennial, Howard, Long Reach, Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools for the 2018–19 school year and their parents are invited to learn more about the expanded JumpStart opportunities and benefits at an information session, offered in November and December at various locations. Students may also obtain information from their high school counselor.
Details about JumpStart are available online.