Gaston College will host a free information session for high school sophomores and juniors, 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday in room 127 at the Cochrane Building on the Lincolnton campus.
Those attending will learn how to get an early start on college credits while still being enrolled in high school, and will receive information on how to transfer from Gaston to other schools with an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees through four course options â€“ business and economics, humanities and social science, engineering and mathematics, and life and health sciences.
The plan to offer a glimpse of the college experience prior to enrolling became effective Jan. 2. It takes the place of other similar high school services, such as dual enrollment.
“Being able to take college courses while still in high school is like a safety net for the students,” said Director of Educational Partnerships Kimberly Wyont, who will be leading the discussion. “Itâ€™s almost like theyâ€™re beginning college, but theyâ€™re doing it safely.”
The approved credits will be transferable to state colleges, as well as private schools, something that may save families money in the long run. High school students can earn up to 34 (semester) hours of general education credits, which will likely help them receive their degrees in less time, Wyont said.
She will also touch on the various pathways students interested will have available to them, from a transfer standpoint to a technical, vocational one. Each pathway has a unique set of eligibility requirements, which will be covered during the meeting.
Students interested in attending trade or technical schools have the opportunity to receive certificates, speeding along their post-high school education. Accepted courses for certificates include: accounting; automotive technology; computer information technology and cosmetology.
Aside from entering career paths earlier and saving on tuition, graduating early would also cut corners for those paying room and board, Wyont said.
“I have several friends with children in college who have saved at least $20,000 by having them take college courses earlier,” Wyont said.
For more information, visit www.gaston.edu.