AISA Executive Director Michael McLendon and TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. shake hands following Tuesday's agreement signing.
An agreement signed Tuesday by Troy University and the Alabama Independent School Association will provide ACCELERATE, the University’s online learning portal for non-public high school students, to member schools of AISA.
Modeled on the ACCESS program, ACCELERATE provides classes for students that broaden the depth of academics offered by participating schools, provides advanced-placement classes in subjects that may not be available in every school and affords students the opportunity to take advantage of dual enrollment classes to earn college credit.
“This partnership with the AISA is a natural fit and it is one that we want to see continue to grow,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “We currently have almost 600 students from AISA institutions studying with us on campus, and I see that number continuing to grow through this partnership. We have 170 AISA students enrolled in dual enrollment and that is a number I see growing exponentially. It is a great partnership. We value what they do, and we will continue to build on the many success stories that we have experienced together.”
Michael McLendon, executive director of AISA, said he expects Tuesday’s agreement to have a tremendous impact for students in the AISA’s 76 member schools.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our schools and our students, as well as our teachers,” McLendon said. “Through the dual enrollment process, students will have access to college-level classes, as well as advanced-level classes that they might not ordinarily have access to at their local school. The great thing about it is that they can earn high school credit and at the same time earn credit for college. Students will get the college-level course experience, so when they graduate from high school they are already a step ahead. It is an exciting opportunity.”
McLendon said it was believed that as many as 6,000 students will have access to the program with the potential for that number to grow even further. The program will begin at the start of school in the fall.
The program will provide opportunities for students in the 10th through the 12th grades, who have a 3.0 high school grade point average and a minimum score of 20 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT. Under the agreement, students will receive a discounted rate of $145 per credit hour for dual enrollment classes, which are taken from the University’s required general studies courses.
Buddy Starling, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said such outreach opportunities are important to the University. “It is a perfect opportunity for parents and students to get a head start on earning college credit at a discounted rate,” Starling said. “Dual enrollment in many ways is a great bridge from high school to students. Outreach is the life-blood of our business. We want to be there to support them in any way we can. The better our relationships with our local school systems within the state, the better our enrollment picture looks for the future, but also the better it is for the communities we serve within our state.”