“College Now” allows students to receive college credit while in high school

Students  may earn up to 12 credits through Southwestern Oregon Community College per term for free through various avenues.
Increased awareness of college level classes is leading to a rise in the number of students gaining college credit while still in high school. The classes, known as 2+2 or College Now, offer students a chance to acquire college credit and high school credit at the same time.

Students can choose between career pathway classes, such as fire science and computer science, or take lower-division collegiate classes, such as Writing 122, which is offered at Marshfield. In addition, students can take online college classes or attend class at Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC).

SOCC’s In-District High School Relations Coordinator, Jennifer Silva, said she has noticed the recent growth in College Now courses.

“I have seen an increase in high school students taking them,” Silva said. “They’re becoming more readily available and more people know about them.”

Not only do students have a chance to get an early jump at college credits, but they can receive them for free while still in high school, according Marshfield counselor Laura Osbon.

“You can get up to 12 credits each term for free,” Osbon said. “You’re considered a college student in high school.”

However, Osbon said it is important that students are able to handle the load of college courses.

“It is a chance to get ahead as long as you’re capable of keeping up,” Osbon said.

Junior Isabel Groth is taking several College Now classes, including college writing and trigonometry, and she said the classes help challenge her academically.

“They have helped me learn how to study better, take notes and prepare for college,” Groth said.

According to Silva, the opportunity to receive college credit in high school has not always been an option.

“Being able to get a jump on your college education was an option not available to the parents of today’s students,” Silva said.

Groth said she is a strong supporter of the College Now classes and hopes other students take advantage of the program.

“I would recommend them. They put you ahead of your classmates,” Groth said.

Silva said she also encourages students to take the challenge. However, Silva said it is important to prepare early, in order for students to make room in their schedule.

“Definitely consider taking these courses. Talk with your high school counselor,” Silva said. “Prepare yourself as early as your freshman and sophomore years.”