Top high school students use SOU program to get a big jump on college

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/uavpOG)

(Ashland, Ore.) — One student at St. Mary’s School in Medford will be two-thirds of the way through her sophomore year at Southern Oregon University when she receives her high school diploma next month. One of her St. Mary’s classmates will be almost halfway through his sophomore year at SOU.

Another high-achiever – from Phoenix High School – will be just over halfway through his second year in college when he wears his high school cap-and-gown.

They are the top three college credit-earners among about 1,500 students from at least 22 high schools in Oregon, California and Nevada currently participating in SOU’s Advanced Southern Credit program. Students in the ASC program can simultaneously earn high school and college credits for approved advanced placement coursework.

The two St. Mary’s students have accumulated 74 and 62 credits, respectively. The Phoenix High student accrued 68 college credits at SOU during his high school career. Nearly 600 high school students will graduate this year with at least eight ASC credits.

(NOTE: This year’s three high school graduates with the most credits through SOU’s program can be made available for media interviews.)

“The (college) credits are transferrable to all public universities in Oregon and to most public and private universities nationwide,” said Stephanie Butler, SOU’s pre-college youth programs coordinator.

Butler points out that about 30 percent of students who take part in the ASC program wind up graduating from SOU – even if they try other college campuses immediately out of high school.

Advanced Southern Credit, which is in its 36th year, is one of three state-accredited, dual-credit programs in Oregon. Portland State University and Oregon Institute of Technology offer similar programs.

Teachers with master’s degrees or higher from participating high schools may submit ASC course proposals to appropriate academic department chairs at SOU. Teachers of approved courses must then undergo periodic professional development training at the university. The high schools receive 14 percent rebates on their students’ tuition payments for ASC classes, to help with the cost of teacher training and to reinvest in the program.

Students pay sharply reduced tuition for ASC courses – currently $41 per credit, or $164 for a four-credit course. By comparison, enrolled full-time students at SOU paid $1,084.64 in tuition and fees during the 2016-17 academic year for four-credit courses. A waiver option – primarily for students who qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price lunch program – can drop the price of ASC courses to $5 per college credit.

St. Mary’s School offers the most ASC courses – 39 – of the participating schools, while North Medford High School offers 34 courses, Ashland High School offers 24 and Phoenix High offers 22. The most-distant participating school is Rancho High School in Las Vegas, which offers three ASC courses.

-SOU-

About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.