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UALR and PCSSD join forces

Submitted by Elton Tevebaugh on November 23, 2016 – 1:50 amNo Comment

While the year may be winding down, the UALR and Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) plan to provide high school students with more educational opportunities next year.

Beginning in the Fall 2017 semester, students from the PCSSD will be able to gain college credits while still in high school through UALR.

Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator at UALR, Mary Elizabeth Woolery said, “Normally we partner with a district with one high school or we partner just with the high school itself.” This is not the case with this new partnership.

Four high schools will be included in this partnership: Wilbur D. Mills University Studies, Sylvan Hills, Joe T. Robinson, and Maumelle high schools. This partnership signifies a huge push for students in those schools to be able to further their education while still in high school.

So far, the program will include freshman and sophomore level courses, offering core courses (math, English, history, science) for college credit to students in the four participating schools. Course offerings will differ as more teachers who meet qualifications for concurrent teaching are hired.

“We have to look at teachers credentials first because they have to meet the criteria not only for the university, but also for the accrediting bodies,” Woolery said.

Students interested in the program will face their own requirements to participate. There are several possibilities to take into account when looking at requirements, which include: a 21 composite score on the ACT, or half of the smart core courses and a 2.5 GPA, or being a junior with a 3.0 GPA, or meeting qualifying test scores for ACCUPLACER placement tests.

“If they meet one criteria, they can gain entry into the program, but will face additional requirements depending on which courses they want to take,” said Woolery.

Not only will this arrangement benefit PCSSD, but also UALR. According to Woolery, it will boost enrollment at UALR.

Concurrent Enrollment Specialist Nick Steele agreed and said, “I think it opens up a potential pipeline for recruiting success for the university, and hopefully it will lead to higher enrollment numbers on campus.”

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