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Sebring Students Get A Head Start on College with Courses in High School

Spanish 4 Sidewalk Chalk Verb Project


October 19, 2021

Students at Sebring McKinley could graduate high school with enough credits to rank as a sophomore in college thanks to Sebring’s College Credit Plus program. 

Sebring offers 52 college credits to McKinley students as part of the College Credit Plus (CCP) program. Between English, foreign language (Spanish) and history/social studies, there are 16 CCP courses available at McKinley at no cost to students or their families.

For students like Bryanne Luca, these classes provide the opportunity to get some general education requirements fulfilled before leaving high school while fulfilling requirements for high school graduation. The CCP courses she has taken, including Elementary Spanish I and II, American Government, Comparative Economics, Composition I and II, have provided her dual credit, fulfilling high school graduation requirements while also providing 3 or 4 college credits upon passing each course. She will be taking four more CCP courses this school year, adding 14 more college credits to the 20 she earned before starting her senior year.

”She had to take the classes anyway, so she decided why not use her time to earn college credit,” says Samantha Luca, Bryanne’s mother. “This frees up space in her schedule for other required classes, and also has saved her a lot of money towards tuition.”

With college credits costing an average of more than $550 per credit, each of these courses could provide a savings of as much as $2,400 (or more!) for a 4-credit course that would not need to be taken at a college or university. In Bryanne's case, that is a potential savings of approximately $18,700 for the 34 college credits she will earn (at no cost to her or her family) while at Sebring.

“I see students walking out of their senior year with 34 college credits, if they start CCP classes in their sophomore year,” says McKinley guidance counselor Michael D’Amico. This amount of credits would put a student in sophomore standing when they enter college.

Entering as a sophomore could reduce the amount of time needed to be spent in college, saving up to an entire year’s worth of tuition (not to mention other college expenses such as books and room and board). The credits earned in high school could also make additional opportunities for students to expand the courses they take, such as adding a second major or additional minor throughout a traditional 4 year college experience.

“Bryanne’s main focus was to try and get some of her general education classes out of the way so she could focus on her major in college,” says Samantha. “It could possibly put her a semester or more ahead of everyone else coming in as a freshman.”

Nicole Mathias, who teaches English Language Arts at McKinley, including several of the English CCP classes each semester, explains that CCP courses have course outcomes which are defined by Eastern Gateway Community College, while high school classes follow the Ohio State Standards.

Amy Thagard, the district’s Spanish teacher, explains that in the advanced Spanish Classes, students are treated like college adults. Once students enter Spanish 3 (CCP Elementary Spanish I and II) and Spanish 4 (CCP Intermediate Spanish I and II), the students take on the responsibility of communicating with the teacher and meeting college-like expectations in regards to excused absences and deadlines. The course pace is faster and assignments are more challenging in the CCP courses compared to the entry level Spanish 1 and 2 classes.

CCP Courses require no additional testing at the end of the course to contribute to a student’s college career. Passing the CCP course through achieving the course outcomes provides students with the earned college credit in addition to meeting their high school requirements. 

“It’s great to hear from our graduates who have taken CCP courses. The comments they get from professors and how they feel prepared makes it worth it,” says Mathias.

“Simply not having the extra work as a college freshman is a benefit,” says Thagard, when explaining the intensity of some college level language courses. 

Students who complete all of Sebring’s CCP Spanish courses leave high school with 16 college credits in the language. Thagard says “I often strongly recommend that the students consider a Spanish minor - they’re almost halfway there when they enter most universities!”

Sebring students who are accepted into the program through Eastern Gateway Community College can take any of the 16 dual credit courses in English, History, and Foreign Language (Spanish). Individuals who wish to take part in the CCP program must meet requirements in English or Reading as measured through the ACT (scoring 18 in English or 22 in Reading) or ACCUPLACER (scoring 263 in English or 250 in Reading) exams.

spanish 4 students drawing verbs in sidewalk chalk

spanish 3 students spanish 4 students

Spanish 3 students (Elementary Spanish I and II CCP courses) identified verbs drawn in sidewalk chalk by Spanish 4 students (Intermediate Spanish I and II CCP courses)

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