NOVEMBER 15, 2006

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Concurrent enrollment jumps at OCCC

Educators have always encouraged students to graduate from high school and attend college. Oklahoma students are getting the message, just reversing the order.

A recent increase of over 200 percent in concurrent enrollment at Oklahoma City Community College indicates that more students are finding college is possible before high school graduation.

Nearly 500 students are enrolled in both high school and OCCC classes this fall. Some students, from as far away as Hooker and Boise City, are enrolled in online classes.

Most who attend classes are from the Oklahoma City area, but this could change with general education coursework now being offered at Technology Centers and more students interested in taking online courses. The college has maintained particularly successful partnerships with the Oklahoma City Public School District and two area charter schools.

J.P. Johnson, Director of Early College Awareness, said many high schools now transcript college credit and give college courses the same weight as Advance Placement.

“This helps students meet high school requirements, makes them more competitive in class ranking, and can give them an edge when competing for admission to four-year universities and for scholarships,” Johnson said.
“Successful completion of college coursework says students are capable of the academic rigor college demands.”

Passage in 2005 of SB982, which allows qualified seniors to take up to six credit hours a semester, tuition free, is allowing more and more low income students to jump start their college careers at OCCC. Some Oklahoma City area high schools are picking up the cost of ACT Residual testing ($38) fees ($73 per credit hour) and books (about $150 per class).

Students do not have to have straight A’s or exceptionally high ACT scores to qualify and be successful in concurrent college coursework, according to Johnson. “Average students can go to college, even before they graduate from high school, and they definitely can be successful. The keys are self motivation and a willingness to work hard.”

OCCC requires a 21 ACT composite score or a 3.5 GPA for junior admission and a 19 ACT composite score or 3.0 GPA for senior admission. ACT scores are required for course placement.

For more information on concurrent enrollment at OCCC, call 1-405-682-7533, or contact a college or university near you.