By Cody Harrell
Mason Times staff writer
MASON—The Mason School Board announced Monday that this fall, students will be able to learn college credits while studying at Mason High School.
The agreement would allow high school students to earn community college credit while completing their graduation requirements at the high school. According to Mason School District Trustee Peter Curtis, this agreement is meant to help create a more seamless transition between education levels.
“This is a great opportunity for students to get a running start for college,” Curtis said.
Curtis said juniors and seniors will be able to earn credits at the high school and won’t have to travel to the college.
Mark Dillingham, superintendent of Mason Public Schools, said the agreement follows an agreement with Davenport University signed in fall 2012. The agreement aligned high school courses to entry-level courses in English, math, language and social studies at Davenport University.
However, Dillingham said the Lansing Community College agreement is strictly aimed at the business college. He said that the process for an agreement requires correlation between the high school class and the college curriculum, and only then can the class be offered for college credit.
“Teachers look at a college course and see if our courses have at least an 80 percent match with the college, and then the agreement is assigned through the college,” Dillingham said.
Bruce Barbour, Mason Public School’s executive director of curriculum, said he has been working on an agreement with Lansing Community College since before the Davenport agreement. He said that the agreement with Davenport has created nearly 20 articulated connections for college credit.
Barbour said that a deal like this is only beneficial to students if they decide to attend the university following graduation.
“If a kid had 10 credits articulated through Davenport, they wouldn’t get the credits unless they sign an agreement to attend Davenport,” Barbour said.
Barbour hopes that more students will take advantage of the agreement with the college in order to create a greater connection between the schools. He said that while the agreement is still in its preliminary stages, Mason is determined to find courses that will match so students can get the college credit.
“It’s a win-win for the students and the college,” Barbour said. “It only makes sense that kids get credit going in so they don’t waste tuition money and time with courses they’ve already covered.”