Hazard Community and Technical College has a history of helping high school students earn college credit but now the college is devoting even more resources to helping students start their college education early. HCTC has re-assigned Christian Callihan at the new College Transition Advisor and he is working directly with students. He joins Jama Griffie, the Dual Credit Coordinator, who works to enroll high school juniors and seniors in college courses.
HCTC serves the following schools in this project: Cordia High School, Wolfe County, Owsley County, Breathitt High School, Jackson City High School, Hazard High School, Knott Central High School, Perry County Central, Buckhorn High School, Lee County Area Technology Center, Knott Area Technology Center, Leslie Area Technology Center, and Breathitt Area Technology Center.
The classes are taught in a variety of ways including high school instructors that have met the requirements by the college to deliver college credit to their students.
Callihan will help students transition from high school to college. He will be a resource to students, counselors, instructors, parents, and administrators. His new role will allow students to have a point of contact in assistance with Dual Credit, Transfer Advising, Financial Aid, and career and degree information. Christian will aid in online support for students as well. He will be developing college informational workshops and implementing them as needed by individual schools.
This effort is different because students taking Dual Credit that have questions about other colleges and transferring their credit have never had a direct contact with their transition. “We answer as many of those questions as possible. We focus on these students, offer support for their online accounts, help on how to track their degrees, and we will be more knowledgeable of what they are taking. All of this will help increase the retention and overall confidence of the students who are progressing early in their college career,” noted Callihan.
Mrs. Griffie said, “We have always been student oriented with a desire to see the student succeed. We are now taking that desire into the high schools. The services we have to support our on campus students will be available to our high school students with Christian’s new role.”
Dual Credit courses shorten the time needed to complete college credentials. HCTC has started to see the five-year college plan turn into the three- and four-year college plan as Dual Credit has evolved and grown within the past five years. Dual Credit is also important in its message to build the confidence of students to believe they can go to college and be successful. Most importantly, Dual Credit significantly reduces the cost of a college education over the span of time.
The courses at these schools include General Education Courses along with Technical Courses as well.
Dual Credit is offered at all 16 schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. KCTCS has a current Memorandum of Agreement on Dual Credit with both the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council on Post-Secondary education.
Some students graduate high school with enough college credits for an associate degree. Dual Credit has allowed students that are wanting to enter into an Allied Health Program (nursing, Radiography, etc.) to complete their pre-requisites for those programs prior to high school graduation. This semester some HCTC Dual Credit students were accepted into several of Selective Admissions Allied Health programs following high school graduation. HCTC has seen dual credit students be accepted into honors programs at some of the four year universities.
Hazard Community and Technical College works collaboratively with other Colleges and Universities offering Dual Credit in high schools. Some schools in the region have three or more institutions offering courses to students allowing students many varieties of opportunities for tuition savings cost.
Students looking for scholarship opportunities for Dual Credit can visit the KHEAA website prior to May 15 each year to apply for a Mary Jo Young scholarship which is offered through the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.