College in High School
by Brianna DeSalvo, Mia Edwards, and Gabbi Pisciuneri
Shenango High School looks different in many ways this school year. Though most of those reasons have to do with COVID, this one does not. In fact, it’s a welcome change that will benefit Shenango students not only this year but in their future college endeavors.
Shenango High School has introduced a multitude of “College In A High School” classes this year. Many teachers recently had their courses approved for this program.
Senior high counselor Ms. Garda was at the forefront of this whole operation. “[Shenango] partnered with Seton Hill University, and it’s a program that allows our high school teachers to submit their own curriculum and assessments that they use on a day-to-day basis for consideration to the university, [and to] the Dean of whatever college. [The college] then evaluates what they send, and then they determine if they can also award college credit for a class that students are already participating in high school, “ Ms. Garda explained.
Taking these courses offers many benefits to Shenango students as well. “It’s a [largely] reduced rate for students, so it’s $225 for a three-credit class, which totals to about $75 per credit,” Ms. Garda emphasized. “You will find that this is an enormous savings over even our community college classes, [which] are usually about two to three times that for high school students, and private colleges and universities are going to be many many times over that for the same value.”
Senior Sydney White is one of many who will reap the benefits of this change. “It’s good because it saves a lot of money toward anything you are planning on doing in college, and I’ve been considering minoring in Spanish, so if I take this class and gain college credits from it, it would be extremely beneficial,” she explained.
Ms. Garda also outlined other benefits of the College In A High School program outside of the monetary differences. “The students earning credits before they even leave high school can transfer those into college and that can improve their standing in college,” she said. “You’re able to schedule your classes, and some services are available to you based on how many credits you’ve earned, so that can put you ahead of the game.”
Mrs. Catanese, English teacher, is one teacher whose class is part of this new program. Her AP Literature course largely remained structured as it always has been. “I wouldn’t say there were a significant amount of changes because it was more adapting to what Seton Hill philosophies were. If [students] choose to pay the enrollment fee or the tuition fees for Seton Hill, they can absolutely receive college credits that can transfer to various colleges.”
Not only do these changes benefit the students, but it also has benefited Catanese as a teacher. “It enriches my teaching and constantly causes me to step back and look at the literature in new ways.”
So far, Shenango has approved seven courses through Seton Hill, including Composition and Culture, Topics in Literature, and 2-D design.