High school students can now get a head start on college by taking classes at Harford Community College.
Students participating in the new program can attend high school in the morning, then take college classes in the afternoon, said Jim Quigg, coordinator of HCC's academic advising activities.
The college classes can be used to satisfy high school requirements; every six college credits equal one high school class, Quigg said.
Juniors or seniors, who must pay for the college classes, can take more than six classes. To participate, students must get permission from parents, a high school waiver committee, the high school principal and the school superintendent.
In addition to good grades, the student's maturity is also assessed, Mr. Quigg said.
"Along with earning college credits, the students will have firsthand experience at college-level work without the pressure of a full college course load," he said.
The classes are particularly appropriate for high school students who want to take advanced classes their high school may not offer because of limited interest, Mr. Quigg said.
Seniors who have enough credits to graduate from high school also benefit because the program saves them from taking "filler courses" just to keep busy during their last year of high school.
Qualifying students may schedule their six credits at the college over four days or two.
The six credits may be scheduled on two days between 12:30 and 3:20 p.m. or over four days from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m.
The four-day plan allows students to return to high school in time to participate in extracurricular activities.