Lakewood High School and the University of Akron have formed a dual enrollment partnership that will allow students taking Spanish 4 and 5 this year to simultaneously earn University of Akron credits for the course and at a very low cost to parents.
Spanish teacher Matt Heslep, who is now also an adjunct professor for the University of Akron, will teach the curriculum of the UA Spanish 101 & 102 courses to Spanish 4 & 5 students during their regular LHS class time. At the end of the year, the students will have earned eight college credits. Those juniors continuing on to Spanish 5 next year will take the Spanish 201 & 202 UA courses and earn six more college credits for a total of 14 credits. The credits will be earned through University of Akron-Wayne College in Orrville.
“Dual enrollment at the high school level is something special,” said Assistant Superintendent Kevin Bright, who helped work out the details of the partnership with University of Akron. “We are grateful to the University of Akron ... for helping us be able to offer this opportunity.”
To be eligible for the credits, students must be a junior or senior, they must apply to University of Akron, have a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA and have a composite score of 21 or higher on the ACT.
This program all comes at a minimal cost to parents in light of what college credits cost today. Tuition is $100 a semester hour. The Spanish 101 & 102 courses are four credit hours each, so each semester will cost $400 for each student. The Lakewood Alumni Foundation has generously offered to pay $2,000 toward students' costs this year, or $100 for 20 students, and the district is paying $200 per student per semester. The student’s family will be responsible for $100 each semester.
This is what Principal Bill Wagner hopes to be just the start of the high school offering families cost-effective ways to earn college credit before leaving high school.
“We are looking to expand this type of opportunity as large as we can,” Wagner said.
Wagner credited Heslep for making this program a reality for his students as Heslep shepherded the necessary paperwork needed this summer and went through an extensive vetting process with UA this summer in order to be deemed qualified to teach the university course and to be an adjunct professor.
“We wouldn’t be at this point without the tenacity (Heslep) has shown toward this endeavor.”