Via the Chicago Tribune

Township High School District 214 is preparing to give their high school students a jump start at college. Students of the Arlington Heights Illinois-based school district will be able to take online courses and potentially be able to finish a full semester of freshman classes, all while still in high school.

The new ‘Early College Center’ will be unveiled this year for students. District 214 is working with Arizona State University, which will help over 30 high school students take online classes for college credit.

"We're trying to be proactive rather than reactive before they arrive on college campuses, so they own the technology, communicate with professors via email and through an online platform, and seek out different apps or websites for learning," said Dustin Seemann, director of professional learning and student services at District 214.

In 2015, EdPlus at Arizona State University launched their Global Freshman Academy, which provides students with first-year courses without risking their GPA, or needing any transcripts or applications.

Last year, EdPlus at ASU did a pilot program with the district offering one, three-credit hour class online. Through this pilot, district administrators were able to see the benefits an early college program had for their students.

The district praised the option for students to be able to choose whether they want to receive college credit, and only pay if they are satisfied with their performance in the course. The low cost, convenient online courses and the opportunity to start college with courses already completed, is what district administrators and students find beneficial.  

The Global Freshman Academy hopes that soon every high school student will have the opportunity to try out college, risk free.

Read the full story on the Chicago Tribune