by Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing, Central Arizona College
Central Arizona College (CAC) recently revised its high school program opportunities to provide the best experience for Pinal County high school students. In prior years, the college offered a First Step program during the summer and an Early College program each fall and spring semester.
With the newest changes, these two programs have been combined and are now officially named the Early College program.
CAC will continue to provide a quality opportunity to access college-level course work for Pinal County high school students through the Early College program. Students will have access to the five-credit tuition waiver beginning the summer after the completion of their sophomore year of high school through the summer after their senior year. The admissions and enrollment process for this programming will remain the same with an online application form to be available in the future.
To ensure students are working on early college completion and advancing their college goal attainment, they will be required to take college-level courses. Additionally, participants must meet CAC’s GPA component for all terms as opposed to just the fall and spring semesters. The migration of the summer First Step program to the Early College program will be phased in as CAC moves into the 2019 summer session.
CAC is dedicated to the long-term sustainability of CAC’s high school programs. The Early College programming change was implemented to provide a more optimal experience for students and families of Pinal County.
Key factors in combining the programs included, access to programming for college-ready students, the ability to increase accountability among participants and limiting continued confusion that exists among all stakeholders.