Roark commends County School Board

Harlan County High School juniors and seniors continue to compile college credits while taking dual credit classes while still in high school.

Superintendent Brent Roark reported to the Harlan County Board of Education recently that 575 seats are currently filled in the dual credit program, with 464 of those being with Southeast Kentucky community and Technical College and 111 with the University of Pikeville.

“It really gives our students a jump start, he said. “It is a big calling card for Harlan County high School.”

Roark’s remarks came during a report on an invoice for $23,163 included on the agenda to be paid to SKCTC for dual credit classes.

“I want you (board members) given the credit for doing this,” said Roark. “I want you to be acknowledged for what you are doing for those kids. It has been a blessing for every child that participates in the dual credit program. We have 575 classes being taken right now. I appreciate you for what you are doing for them. I hope we can continue to do this in the future. We are committed for the second semester.”

Roark called the HCHS program “extremely unique.” He noted that prior to changes in state dual credit scholarship dollars, the district wasn’t required to pay for classes.

“And, when things changed in state government on how those scholarships were handed out, that burden was going to be shifted back to our families or shifted over to the school system,” he said. “We were one of very few school systems that didn’t shift that burden of the dual credit classes back to the families. Our families simply couldn’t do it. You stepped up last year and paid for any excess amount for those dual credit classes. It totaled well over $40,000. This is for the first semester bill. So it will be that much again.”

A breakdown of students in the dual credit classes includes: 83 students in English 101, 72 in English 102, 52 in Psychology 110, 73 in History 108, 51 in History 109, 47 in Mathematics 150, 19 in Mathematics 175, 41 in Communications 181, 45 in Biology 100, 66 in Biology 171 and 27 in Introduction to Computers.

Roark told the board he is excited about the continued growth to the HCHS dual credit program, noting that Math 175, Introduction to Computers 105 and Biology 171 are all new offerings for students this year.

He explained the significant savings to students and their families by being able to take the dual credit classes and be well into their college programs upon graduation from high school.

Roark also commended HCHS teachers who have taken classes to become SACS accredited college instructors. He said they are teaching and providing opportunities for HCHS students at no extra cost to the district.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) provides accreditation to teachers who complete classes and other tasks, allowing them to teach college classes to high school students.

The SACS is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Roark said any students not enrolled in dual credit should contact their guidance counselor to discuss opportunities available to them.