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BLAIRSVILLE: Students earning college credits through CIHS program

by ANDREW DOAK, Gazette Student News Reporter on October 18, 2013 10:40 AM

BLAIRSVILLE — Blairsville High School students are now earning college credits without even exiting the doors of the school.

Blairsville High School has teamed up with three universities in hopes of presenting their students with college credits at the end of the school year.

The universities participating in the College in High School (CIHS) program are Penn Highlands Community College, Seton Hill University and the University of Pittsburgh.

English and literature teacher John Brady has made the choice to switch his Advanced Placement (AP) class to a College in High School course.

Brady said, “I want my students to be evaluated on their performance in the class as a whole, rather than being evaluated on one test at the end of the year.”

Calculus teacher Phillip Heinnickel says that switching from an AP course to a CIHS course was an easy transition and that his class structure would not have to change. He went down the CIHS road because it would give his students more options.

Students not only have the opportunity to earn college credits in the classroom over the school year. Even students who have not paid tuition at any of the participating universities are still eligible to take the AP exam at the end of the year.

Art history teacher Courtney Scherf has a different story. She had not held an AP class but has taken up teaching a CIHS course this school year.

The biggest reason Scherf chose CIHS over AP is because she can control her lesson plans.  

The curriculum that she teaches is one that she created and had approved by Seton Hill University.

When teaching an AP course, your lesson plan as a teacher is set for you.

Student Heather Hartmann, a participant in the CIHS program, said this on the new course choices: “The College in High School classes give you the advantage of better preparation for next-level schooling.”

This was also agreed upon by student Haylee Jones, who added, “I like how my credits earned will be earned in the classroom.”

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