Streetsboro -- A dual enrollment course, which began this school year at Streetsboro High School, is "ideal because students can remain [longer] in the high school environment" and still receive credit for the course at the high school and at Kent State University, according to Sherry Maruna, who teaches the district's first dual enrollment course -- the Modern American History course.
"We're excited about this program because we can keep these students in our high school [longer]," Maruna said.
Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said school officials "hope to expand the program in the future to include other courses in other subject areas."
Streetsboro High School Principal Eric Rauschkolb said students like the course.
"We are really excited," Streetsboro High School Principal Eric Rauschkolb said. "It offers our students an opportunity to gain college credits while still in high school, at no cost to them. It's very beneficial for their futures."
Maruna is required to teach the course differently than a regular high school class.
"It is like a typical freshman class at Kent State. I have to follow Kent State standards," she said. "The rigor and pacing of the class are accelerated. They have to learn how to quickly read something, write down what is important and analyze original documents. There is a lot of work outside the school."
Maruna said the requirements are rigorous. Students must score at least a 23 ACT score, which is above the national average, she said, and demonstrate they can maintain a high grade-point average.
Maruna said at one point, more than 20 high school students were interested in signing up for the course, but some did not qualify because of the high standards.
Now, there are 14 students total in two classes. She said the number of students is lower than might be expected because most of them are also attending Kent State, so scheduling the course is more difficult.
While any students at any grade level at the high school can take the course, it is geared toward juniors and seniors, she said. Those are the only grade levels enrolled in the class.
While the dual credit course is taught as an established course at the university level, an advanced placement course is taught in anticipation of students taking a national exam, said Maruna. Both can lead to college credits.
"The academic rigor and pacing are similar," she said.
"I am still teaching skills," she said. "I'll give a lecture, then I'll say, 'Let's outline what I just said.' This will make their freshman experience that much easier."
Modern American History covers the year 1877 to the present. Currently, the class is studying Native Americans along with industrialists like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.
Current events can be included in the course. For example, a group of Native Americans recently signed a petition in an attempt to change the name of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, she said.
"As long as the students are keeping up, we can extend the course into current events," she said. "The students are performing very well."
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