"We don't see our job as getting kids to a finish line at graduation," said O. Perry Walker College and Career Preparatory High School Assistant Principal Mark Bailey.
"We see graduation as the starting point."
The opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school is increasing and comes in a variety of forms as the result of collaborations with numerous post-secondary education options, including Tulane University
, Southern University of New Orleans
, Delgado Community College
and its affiliate Louisiana Technical College, Dillard University
, Loyola University, Our Lady of Holy Cross College
and ITT Technical Institute
And through the ACSA
"virtual learning" program, students also have the option to take classes online.
Some students, Bailey
described, stay on Tulane's
campus for a weeklong summer program.
Walker student Paige Dillon will be able to earn certification as a nursing assistant at Delgado, a program Bailey said was the most popular among his students.
It's a good way, Bailey
pointed out, to find out if a career like nursing is right for the student.
"When you get to experience it," he
said, "you either say, 'This is what I was called to do,' or 'I don't ever want to do this again.' It's a benefit to be able to see that.
It is an investment for the schools, Bailey
The Board of Regents covers tuition, he
said, while the school picks up the cost for all other fees, including buses.
But as more and more students qualify to participate, Bailey
said, the more colleges and universities will see the high schools as partners and as feeder schools.
"They are investing in their future alumni," Bailey