Early college credit gave Kelsey Biencourt a head start.
By the time Kelsey Biencourt finished high school, she’d already earned enough college credits to enter Rogue Community College as a third-term sophomore.
Biencourt graduated from Grants Pass High School in June, having compiled a 3.6 GPA and gained 68 college credits through RCC’s Early College Credit 2+2 program.
“I can’t understand why more students don’t do 2+2 classes,” she said. “Starting college as a sophomore is pretty cool. I saved so much money. That’s the main reason I took so many classes.”
Biencourt opted for her first Early College Credit course — child development — as a high school sophomore. But Biencourt really hit her stride as a senior, enrolling in Algebra II, calculus, advanced placement biology, chemistry, history, English and physics — “All totally free!” she said.
Thirteen area high schools have agreements with RCC enabling students to earn 2+2 credits, said B.J.Taylor, RCC’s Early College Credit coordinator. Last year alone, 3,310 participating high schoolers earned 16,518 college credits. The 68 credits Biencourt earned rank among the most gained by a student, Taylor noted.
Early College Credit encourages a seamless transition into college. RCC staff work with high schools to develop curricula that progress from basic to advanced levels of instruction. Students are awarded college credit for successful completion.
Biencourt,18, plans to attend one term at Rogue, filling in her few remaining prerequisite classes before transferring to a four-year university.
The hardest part came during her senior year when her friends attended high school only half days. “But it paid off, and I’m glad I did it,” says Biencourt, who is interested in pursuing a medical career.
She also is taking advantage of RCC’s “buy-one-credit, get-one-free” offer, a tuition waiver that extends to all Jackson or Josephine County high school students within one year after graduation. Students pay for 6 credits and receive 6 at no cost.
“I saved a lot,” Biencourt said, “and what’s really cool is I have more credits than my boyfriend — and he’s a (college) sophomore!”
For more information about Early College Credit, high school students can contact their counselors or the RCC Early College Credit coordinator at 541-245-7710.
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