MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Pierpont Community and Technical College held a signing ceremony with Monongalia County Schools as they partner together for its “all-new college academy” on Feb. 27.

This academy will allow high school students in Mon County to simultaneously earn a Liberal Arts Associate Degree while completing their high school education. The idea behind this is that students would follow a prescribed curriculum starting during their freshman year.

Each class credit hour going towards the degree will only cost $25, meaning that students and parents could save a ton of money. Eddie Campbell, Mon County Schools, Superintendent, mentioned that they want to provide students with every opportunity and every pathway that is possible for them to be successful in school.

When Campbell proposed the idea to Pierpont’s Interim President, Dr. Kathleen Nelson, she was immediately on board with the idea, and it did not take long for the partnership to generate.

Students and parents may be concerned with how credit transfers work, Campbell explained, “it’s just like any other associates degree that a student would earn. They can transfer those credits to a four-year institution, should they design to do that. Obviously, if they decide to go to Pierpont, the credits are going to transfer to Pierpont as well, but again, it’s just a great opportunity for our kids to have in their back pocket.”

Pierpont’s mission is about educating students for work and for life, and in this case, students can complete their associate’s degree and high school diplomas in one go. Dr. Nelson feels that life is wide open for students who end up completing this program.

Classes that will be provided within this degree are general education requirement classes. They include but are not limited to:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences

Dr. Nelson was very passionate when talking about public speaking and communication classes. She highly recommends that all students take a public speaking class so that they are better prepared when speaking in front of peers, teachers, or people in general.

In September, Pierpont sent out an invitation to the 13 counties they serve to take part in this program. As of Feb. 27, a total of 10 of the counties have expressed interest in instilling this program within its high schools. Another county that will for sure be taking part in this program is Upshur County. They will be holding its signing ceremony for partnership on Feb. 28 at the Upshur County Board Office at 9:30 a.m.

The two organizations would like to offer this academy to sophomore students this coming Summer to “catch up,” but hope to have its first cohort starting this Fall for freshmen.