April 2 signified a new day for West Oso High School students as well as other area high schoolers taking college-level credit courses through Del Mar College’s Dual Credit program. During a signing ceremony with West Oso Independent School District, DMC President Dr. Mark Escamilla announced the new cost for Dual Credit courses that will impact all partnering districts across the Coastal Bend.
“Del Mar College’s Board of Regents recently voted to make accessing higher education among our Dual Credit partners more affordable,” said Dr. Escamilla. “The Board approved lowering the cost from $179 to $99 per three-hour credit course no matter where high school students live within or outside the College’s district.”
The new $99 cost goes into effect for the College’s fall 2014 semester. Through the program, students can earn at least 12 college credit hours by the time they earn their high school diploma. Generally these credits apply toward career certifications and associate’s degrees, and they often transfer to bachelor’s degree requirements.
Some students even graduate with 24 to 30 credit hours, having earned most of their equivalent hours of their college freshman and sophomore years.
“Higher education is attainable, and this fall, the lower cost for our Dual Credit partners will make earning college credits even more accessible for their students,” Dr. Escamilla said.
During the ceremony, DMC and West Oso ISD leadership––including Dr. Escamilla and Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz––signed a Dual Credit Memorandum of Understanding/Articulation Agreement that expands the school district’s participation for the 2014-2015 academic year. The ceremony set the stage for West Oso’s initiative beginning in fall 2015 to ensure that their students graduate with either a certificate or associate’s degree upon also completing their high school education.
To view a video clip of remarks by Dr. Mark Escamilla and West Oso High School Principal Pam Olivarez Kwiatkowski, click on the frame:
While West Oso High School has participated with the College’s Dual Credit program, this spring marks the first time students are receiving face-to-face instruction on their campus, including GOVT 2305 Federal Government: Federal Constitution and Topics and MATH 1342 Elementary Statistical Methods.
West Oso High School offers the Dual Credit program to their students for free as soon as they begin their sophomore year. Many students can easily finish most of their basic courses while in high school at no cost to their parents or guardians.
This spring, 25 West Oso High School students are taking DMC credit courses.
“We have in place a significant increase in the number of courses and number of student participants with the College’s Dual Credit program next year, particularly face-to-face instruction from Del Mar professors,” says Jake Salcines, Dean of Instruction at West Oso High School. “We’re growing our program.”
IN THE PHOTO: West Oso High School senior and Dual Credit student Andrew Pareida speaks about his plans after graduation while College President Dr. Mark Escamilla looks on. Pareida is currently receiving face-to-face instruction on his campus, including GOVT 2305 Federal Government: Federal Constitution and Topics and MATH 1342 Elementary Statistical Methods, and will graduate with 12 college-level credit hours through the Dual Credit program.