High schoolers able to earn MU college credits


Katy Vaccariello, Staff writer

News has begun to spread about the new path Mercyhurst is taking in regards to accelerated degrees. This new opportunity is for high school students to jump ahead on their future. This chance is Mercyhurst’s brand new Accelerated Scholars Program available to qualified juniors and seniors in high school.

Programs have been available through Mercyhurst for some time, but this year’s new approach is designed to have a more seamless transition from high school to college. The alterations to the program benefit students both educationally and monetarily.

The process begins when a qualified high school student picks out a few entry-level college courses such as Calculus 1 or American Government. The high school student will take a total of five college courses throughout the program. One class in Spring 2020, two in Summer 2020, one in Fall 2020, and another one in Spring 2021. All courses will be held online for the convenience of the student.

Steven Gregg, Director of Programming at BTW and Corry, said, “With the strong academic quality of Mercyhurst’s online course offerings we were able to build a program that would not only be easily accessible for high school students from all over, but cost effective for families trying to make going to college more affordable.”

The courses available through the Accelerated Scholars Program will not be taught by graduate students or teaching assistants. Instead, students will be working directly with Mercyhurst professors who are always eager to get to know the students and passionate about engaging with students in a classroom setting.

Although the courses will be online, the syllabi and online format are designed to be inter-active both with peers and faculty. The course will keep students engaged with several forms of communication and collaborative assignments.

These classes will be paid for with a monthly fee automatically withdrawn from a credit or debit account. This flat fee for 17 months is $139 a month and that payment covers any text-book rentals needed.

At the conclusion of the pro-gram the student has the choice of where to go to college. If the student does not choose Mercyhurst, all credits are highly transferable. If they do pick Mercyhurst, the student will receive a reimbursement Accelerated Scholars Scholarship towards their first semester as a freshman.

Not only will the student walk away with a semester of college under their belt, but the credits may be eligible for high school dual enrollment. If applicable, study halls and free periods can be used to complete course work.

Gregg said, “As a way of saving money, and a way of speeding up degree completion we are seeing more and more freshmen enrolling having already earned college credits either through traditional dual enrollment pro-grams or through Advanced Placement courses.”

This opportunity opens up a student’s schedule once on cam-pus. By eliminating several general education courses before attending college, the student will have a better chance to study abroad or pick up additional majors.If interested in the program, or if you know a student who would be interested, go to Mercyhurst.Edu/academics/accelerated-scholars to find the application.