The Eau Claire Area School District says students will have the opportunity to earn a college degree while still in high school.
Chippewa Valley Technical College is allowing North and Memorial students to earn associate degrees in business management.
CVTC started offering the program to River Falls High School students about two years ago. After having success, the technical college decided to expand the program to its largest school district partner.
“They’re going to be able to earn technical college credit at the same time they’re working on their high school credits and then when they finish high school they’ll have the CVTC certification. It’s like they’re doing technical college and high school simultaneously, what could be better for a student!?,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck.
The technical college says students can already start signing up for the program which begins in September.
“It’s a great opportunity at no cost to the high school student or their parents. So, it’s a little bit over $11,000 savings to earn that associate degree while the students are in high school,” Executive Dean at CVTC Lynette Livingston said.
CVTC says students can take classes face-to-face or online depending on what’s best for their schedule.
“It’s a way for us to provide career and technical education at the high schools,” said Livingston. “We know this is an area where there’s been a teacher shortage. We also know it helps to solve workforce issues that we see right here within the region so if we can get students out into the workforce faster, we’re happier to do so.”
The school district says there has already been interest in the new program and hopes it will have at least 25 to 30 students participate.
“I think this is a win for everyone and certainly for the families because while these students are in high school and they’re earning these technical college credits they’re earning them through their high school programs so there’s not a lot of additional cost for the families. Students can come out of high school fully prepared to enter the workforce and be debt free,” added Hardebeck.