KCC, School Districts Partner for Student Success
Klamath Community College has entered into agreements with both the Klamath County School District and Klamath Falls City Schools for an Advanced Diploma program, which will allow qualifying high school seniors to receive one full year of college courses at no charge to the student. The program will cover the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks for accepted students.
In order to qualify for the Advanced Diploma program, students must complete all requirements of a standard diploma from their individual high school by the end of their senior year, must apply for admission to KCC and to their high school’s Advanced Diploma program, be accepted into the program, and must enroll in at least nine credit hours per term at KCC. In order to remain eligible for the program throughout the year, students must meet with their academic advisor at least once per term and must remain in academic good standing at KCC.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students,” said Klamath Community College President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “For the college and the school districts to partner to be able to offer an entire year of college courses at no charge to the student indicates how committed we all are to student success.”
According to Dr. Gutierrez, the Advanced Diploma students will be included in a cohort, as they will all have a common advisor and take a common course together during their first term. “Research indicates that students who take part in these types of programs have higher rates of completion and are more likely to transfer to four-year institutions,” he said.
Participants in the program must be assigned to a KCC degree program and will complete an academic plan that will guide advising efforts throughout the year. Advanced Diploma students will be in the same classes and have all of the same rights and responsibilities of other KCC students. “We feel very strongly that students who are given the resources will inevitably succeed at the college level. This program allows us to give them those resources,” Dr. Gutierrez said. “It is not only a good thing for the students and their parents, but is good for taxpayers as well. As the latest economic impact report for KCC shows, the more education and training that the workforce has, the less likely they are to require social benefits and the more they contribute to the tax base over their careers.”
Klamath Falls City School District Superintended Paul Hillyer and Klamath County School District Superintendent Greg Thede are excited by the prospects that the Advanced Diploma partnership offers as well. The program will provide a springboard for many students who likely would not have taken a college class to pursue higher education, they agreed.
As long as they have met all of the requirements, participating students will still be able to walk with their high school class during commencement. The only difference is that instead of receiving a standard diploma upon completing high school, they will receive an Advanced Diploma following completion of their first year of courses at KCC. If a student enters into the Advanced Diploma program, but changes their mind before completing the program, they will still be awarded a standard diploma, assuming all requirements have been met.