Pictured are students from the TASK program

Pictured are students from the TASK program

High school students get a jump on their futures

Royal Bay and Belmont students earning Camosun credits before high school graduation

Students in the Sooke School District are increasingly taking advantage of a partnership with Camosun College and getting their feet wet with post-secondary learning before graduating high school.

A pair of opportunities exist for students eager to earn post-secondary credits. One arrangement allows students to simultaneously earn high school and post-secondary credits while attending high school, while another permits students with work experience in a specific field to enter a program on campus at Camosun.

Dual-credit programs range from math and marketing to economics and criminology, among others.

District careers co-ordinator Tanya Larkin explained how this looks using the example of a senior math teacher teaming up with a Camosun instructor.

“They would take their Calculus 12 class, align it with a class that has a few of the learning outcomes that overlap and they would … collaborate and get through both curriculums so that when the students go to their Calculus 12 class, they are also doing a little bit of Math 100,” she said.

“In the end, the students get four credits for Calculus 12 and they get four credits for Camosun.”

Royal Bay and Belmont secondaries currently offer two or three post-secondary credit courses per semester. Larkin said these dual-credit programs are becoming increasingly popular and offer a range of benefits.

“If a student is hesitant on what they want to pursue or (their) areas of interest, it’s a way for them to dabble and see whether or not they’re going to meet the mark or whether it’s of interest to them,” she said.

An accelerated student in high school could take upwards of six dual-credit courses prior to graduation, which is the equivalent of a semester and a half of post-secondary education. Enticingly, that post-secondary education is free.

It’s also a benefit for high school teachers who get to collaborate with their post-secondary colleagues and share teaching methods.

Meanwhile, students with work experience in a trade area are eligible to apply to attend Camosun to take that level 1 trade during the school year. “

Essentially they’re registered with the high school but they attend Camosun and they do their level 1 training,” Larkin said.

After that, they return to high school and complete any courses still required for graduation. In addition to post-secondary credits, they also receive high school credits.

“It’s funded through the Ministry,” Larkin noted.

For more information on the Camosun College partnership, visit camosun.ca/learn/south-island-partnership.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com