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RCC Early College for High School Students

Welcome Parents and Guardians!

How exciting that high school students can take classes at RCC! Getting a head start on college credits has several benefits for students and families: they can earn a certificate, and sometimes even a degree, by the time they graduate high school; students can earn their degree sooner, move into the workforce and start earning money earlier than if they waited to start earning college credits until after high school. Even better, a lot of local high schools will pay all or part of the tuition and supplies!

There are many good reasons for high school students to start their college career while they are still in high school. There are also rights and responsibilities that all college students have, and that includes high school students taking college courses.


Below are answers to some common questions.

Parental access to children's education records: At the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to the parents only under the following circumstances:

  • Through the written consent of the student,
  • In compliance with a subpoena,
  • By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152). In the case of a dependent student, information may be exchanged without the written consent of the student for the sole purpose of completing a student's financial aid application or the payment of tuition and fees.
  • Students may assign parental access during the admission application or by completing a FERPA Student Information Release Form.

Written Consent: The College may release a student’s academic records to their parents, a prospective employer, insurance companies, etc., only after receiving a completed Academic & Behavior Information Release form from the student. In compliance with FERPA, this form includes the following information:

  • It must specify the records to be released (transcripts, etc.), and
  • State the purpose of the disclosure, and
  • Identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made, and
  • Be signed and dated by the student

Are there costs to attend Early College?

Early College courses are offered at a discount rate, with the approval of the high school. It is highly recommended that students check with their high school to see about participation, student costs and if the school has any available funding for course costs and/or books.

  • If you are enrolled in a partnership program such as Early College, it is your responsibility to ensure that the courses you are registering for is approved and authorized by your high school. We encourage you to work closely with your high school staff to ensure you understand who is paying for the course.
  • You will discuss this with your High School Liaison. If you do not drop a course by the drop deadline, you are financially liable for it, with or without outside financial assistance. Please see the course catalog for the drop deadline for courses that are not term-length.

RCC has an Early College webpage for students that answers a lot of questions we have been asked. Students should:

A student can drop a course by the second Tuesday after the start of the term. By dropping a course, the transcript will not show the class on a student's transcript.

After the drop deadline, and up to approximately 3 weeks before the end of the RCC term, a student can withdraw from the course. By withdrawing from the course, the student will receive a “W” grade on their transcript. At RCC, a W grade may impact financial aid and the student's satisfactory academic standing and progress (SAP) when entering college as a full-time student.

Beyond the withdraw date, a student will take the grade they have earned. It is important that the student keeps open communication with their teacher to ensure that they are making good progress in the course.

Student success in college courses can start with being involved in their education.
Ask questions:

  • Tell me about the college class(es)?
  • Are you able to get through the college coursework? Why or why not?
  • Tell me how you are feeling about the work/content/learning?
  • What are your goals in taking this class?
  • Have you reach out to the instructor?

Opening conversations with your child about their college aspirations while still in high school can set a path for their success in college after high school. When parents show an interest in their child’s educational strategies, this can help students be successful.
Be available:

  • When your child wants to talk.
  • If your child is struggling with their school work, help them problem solve how they can get help (remember: RCC Tutors are available to Early College students).
  • If your child is feeling overwhelmed, help them come up with solutions. Have them:
    • Write down what assignments need to be completed.
    • Make lists of work that is due and when it is due.
    • Take short breaks.
    • Grab a snack or some water
    • Take a quick walk to reenergize
    • Move away from their computer

Give praise:

  • Acknowledge the time they spend on assignments/studying.
  • Acknowledge the work they have completed.
  • Tell them you are proud of their hard work and dedication to their schoolwork.

When students feel that their parents/guardians are involved in their schooling, both academics and sports, students push themselves more to complete what they have signed up for.