BLOUNTVILLE - Local teenagers can go to college without leaving high school.
The Jump Start dual enrollment program at Northeast State Technical Community College gives high school students the opportunity to complete key freshman year courses including English composition I and II, social sciences, humanities, and second-year literature before ever setting foot on a college campus.
"The beauty of the program is students are able to earn transferable college credits while they are still in high school on their schedule and with their peers," said Chris Lefler, assistant vice president of Evening and Distance Education at Northeast State.
Courses meet core curriculum requirements at Northeast State as well as other colleges and universities. Jump Start participants get more control over their college course selection and majors by completing these core classes in high school.
Jump Start enrollment at Northeast State soared 108 percent from 2005 to 2007.
Northeast State offers Jump Start classes to students at 10 area high schools in the college's five-county service area. Courses offered vary from school system to school system. Home-schooled students are also eligible to participate in the Jump Start program.
To qualify for Jump Start, a high school student must have junior- or senior-level standing, submit an official Northeast State application and application fee, and provide copies of their high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores. Students enrolling in general education courses such as English or psychology must have an enhanced ACT composite score of 19 and subscore of 19 in English or math, or an SAT composite score of 910 with a minimum of 450 in math and 460 in verbal.
All Jump Start courses use the same grading scale as Northeast State's regular classes. Grades earned in Jump Start classes become a permanent part of the student's record at Northeast State. Fees for Jump Start students are the same as those for any other Northeast State student, or about $400 per class.
Students can apply for financial assistance through the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant Program. Administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the program provides financial assistance to qualified high school students receiving dual high school and college credit from successfully completed courses. The grant provides a $300 supplement per semester or $600 for one full academic year.
Students can learn more about the grant by visiting the TSAC link: www.collegepaystn.com (click on "Money for College" then "Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant.")
To find out more about the Jump Start program call 323-0221.