A New Future

Haily Cook, Reporter

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There is something exciting coming to Columbia Public Schools next year, there will be a program where high school students can attend college. Moberly Area Community College (MACC),  is partnering with Columbia Public Schools (CPS) to give high school students the chance to earn their associates degree while they are still in high school, so that once they graduate they can start working immediately, this is being called High School 2.0. This is a huge opportunity that many students will have the chance to take advantage of. The idea came out of a Chamber of Commerce trip to Ann Arbor, MI in 2018. Ann Arbor has a similar program that seems to be working very well. With the amount of higher education opportunities we have here in Columbia, many think that this would be great for students. 

However, not just anyone can be apart of this opportunity, there are a few requirements you have to meet. You have to have a minimum GPA of 2.75, good record of school attendance, demonstrate a history of good citizenship, and there will be a required ACT score that has not been determined yet, as this is still a developing idea for CPS. You also have to apply to MACC to be apart of this process, however if you are interested counselors will be able to help you work through the application process. Columbia Public Schools are hoping to be able to enroll a total of 50 students next year. Another big part of this is that the costs will be covered by CPS, meaning that the students who take part in this will go straight into the workforce with no student loans directly out of high school.

Michelle Baumstark said, “Students will be able to graduate high school and receive a 2-year degree simultaneously.  They will then be able to pursue additional education at other institutions or move directly into the workforce.  It’s a huge savings for families and provides amazing access to opportunity for our students.” This is an amazing chance for many students who already know what they want to do, to get a head start on their career. 

High school homework can already be stressful, and adding on college work to that too is going to create a lot more stress. However, they are working on finding ways to help make sure every student apart of this opportunity is receiving the guidance and help they need. Adam Taylor said, “One thing that will be important to support students enrolled in this opportunity is to balance their schedule appropriately. Our guidance department will work with each student individually to make sure that their class load is appropriate. It may mean for some students we include a study hall so they have an opportunity to complete college level work/reading.” Students who are apart of this will also be able to receive help from MACC.

Russ Crane said, “I think this is an amazing chance for students who know what career they want to go into, to get a head start on their future.” 

While this is still something that is developing, it is going to give many students next year a jump start on their future. If you have an interest in this opportunity contact your counselor for more information.