The Ohio College Credit Plus (CCP) program is becoming more and more popular, with an increasing number of students interested in using the option to help them get a jump start on college classes without having to pay tuition. If this sounds like something you or your child would be interested in, here's everything you need to know about the CCP option and whether it's a good fit for you.
What is College Credit Plus?
College Credit Plus is a free program set up through the state of Ohio that builds upon and replaces the previous post-secondary education and dual-enrollment options that allowed advanced high school students to take college courses for both high school and college credit.
CCP has opened this option up to a wider range of students, and many high schools are now networking and setting up specific agreements with local colleges to offer specific pathways and certain classes. However, once you are accepted into the program, you can take any class available at the college as long as you meet the prerequisite class or test score requirements.
Who is Eligible?
Ohio students enrolled in grades 7 through 12 are eligible to apply for CCP. This includes public and private school students as well as those who are home schooled. However, you must demonstrate an adequate level of college-readiness to be accepted into the program. Hocking College looks at quantitative data like ACT and SAT test scores, GPA, and recommendations from guidance counselors and teachers familiar with the student's work.
How are the Classes Set Up?
Once you are accepted into the College Credit Plus program, you can discuss your class options with your school guidance counselor and/or college advisor. In some cases, you may be able to take the class at your school from a regular teacher. In others, you may have the option of taking the class from a Hocking College instructor either on campus or through the online course offerings.
The class itself will be taught in the same way as if you were taking the class as a traditional college student in a degree program. There may be tests, essays or group projects to be completed as well as daily and weekly homework assignments. Most college students can expect to spend two to three hours out of class studying and completing assignments for every one credit hour as a general rule. Any textbooks and required materials for the class will be paid for through your high school.
It's important for parents to note that class material and discussions will not be toned down and possibly controversial topics will not be removed from the course scope. CCP students will be responsible for completing the same work load and engaging in discussions on the same topics as an adult in a traditional college environment.
What are the Benefits of College Credit Plus?
The CCP program can be extremely valuable and rewarding for students who want to save time and money. One of the main benefits is that students earn both high school and college credits, so they can start working toward their anticipated degree programs before they even graduate high school. Many credits will also transfer to other colleges and universities both in and out of state.
Students who start early may even be able to get very close to completing a two-year degree in Ohio by the time they graduate 12th grade. Even if you plan to go on to a four-year degree, taking advantage of the CCP program means less time in college overall — and less money spent on tuition — and early exposure to the increased academic demands of the college environment. CCP is also a valuable experience for students who aren't sure what they want to study after high school as it lets them take classes in different disciplines and explore their interests.
Another benefit is that students still have access to the support staff of the high school in addition to the advisors at the college. This makes it easier for students to get used to and adjust to the college atmosphere at their own pace, building a strong foundation for academic success after graduation.
How are Credits Counted?
For students enrolled in CCP, three hours of college credit is equal to one high school credit, sometimes also referred to as Carnegie units. A two-hour college credit class equates to two-thirds of a high school credit, and a one-hour college credit class is the same as one-third of a high school credit. Students earn both college and high school credits. As an example, a student taking two three-hour college credit classes would earn both six college credit hours and two high school credits.
How Do You Get Started?
The first step is to talk to the guidance counselor at your school to get more information on the program and talk about your eligibility and preparedness. If both of you are in agreement that this could be a beneficial program for you, the guidance counselor can help you get in touch with the proper person at the college and start the application and enrollment process.