WESTMINSTER — County high school students can get a jump on their college studies under an expanded articulation agreement with Carroll Community College.
The agreement, which has been in existence for several years on a limited basis, recently was extended to include nine vocational programs.
"It's a program that parents and students don't know enough about," said R. Edward Shilling, public schools superintendent. "It's an opportunity for students to get college credit right in high school.
"We also hope it will help take away the stigma that's been traditionally associated with vocational education."
The program allows students at the Carroll County Career and Technology centers in Westminster and at South Carroll High School to receive between six and 22 college credits for successful completion of certain courses.
Students earning a B average or better may apply for the college credit. Programs included in the agreement are Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Auto Mechanics, Business Education, Data Processing, Drafting, Electronics, Machine Shop and Practical Nursing.
Only selected courses in the Business Education Program are required for the college credit.
Eligible high school graduates must be admitted to and enroll at either Carroll Community College or Catonsville Community College, Baltimore County.
Students must submit official copies of their high school academic record and a teacher recommendation. Credit for the high school courses will be granted after the student has completed six credit hours at the college.
"We hope this program offersincentive for students to go beyond high school to college for more technical training," Shilling said. "Learning doesn't stop once you've graduated from high school, and they have up to three years to takeadvantage of the credit."
Students may apply for the college credit within three years of high school graduation.
"An opportunity like this encourages students to think about college earlier than theymight have normally," said Edward Cook, CCC's Business and TechnicalStudies chairman.
"Students will find that once they are enrolledin the college's occupational programs, these advanced credits will allow them to complete their studies earlier and thus, begin their careers earlier," he said.
Advanced placement also saves each student hundreds of dollars in college tuition.
Shilling said the publicschools and CCC are continually working together to expand the program offered in the articulation agreement.
High school students interested in learning more about the program can see their principal, teacher or guidance counselor for details.
For information about career programs at CCC, call Edward Crook or George Poling at 876-3880.