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These Galion students celebrated the 2019 high school graduation. An early College Academy program is giving some Galion students a leg up on a college education, too.

GALION – Students enrolled in the the Galion Early College Academy (GECA), which began with the fall 2019 school year, have successfully completed their first semester of college coursework.

Eight students enrolled in this fall, and began a rigorous college program in Liberal Arts. All eight students are juniors who will continue taking courses at GECA through their senior year. The students will earn Associate’s Degrees in Liberal Arts from NCSC prior to earning their high school diplomas.

Galion’s Early College Academy was approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education in February 2019 and is the only program of its kind in the state of Ohio.

GECA is a collaboration between The Galion City Schools and North Central State College. It is an extension of the College Credit Plus (CCP) program which allows college-ready students to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school. By law, CCP programs are provided at no cost to the students or to their families. All GECA classes are taken at Galion High School (GHS) during the regular school day.

Approximately 82% of the courses this year are taught by GHS faculty who have their Master’s degree in a subject area that qualifies them to be college instructors for NC State. Students who complete this program will be well positioned to begin college as juniors upon their graduation from GHS.

Deb Hysell, Dean of Liberal Arts for NC State is impressed with the faculty at Galion.

“The faculty have embraced the additional rigor and the detailed content we need to provide to present college-level coursework," Hysell said. "In addition to faculty, the entire team at Galion have been wonderful to work with as we prepared to launch the Academy. The students are progressing well through their studies. I can’t wait to hand them their diplomas.”

Dorey Diab, President of NC State knows the value the students are receiving.

“Our mission is to meet the needs of our students, and the communities we serve," Diab said. "Graduates of the GECA program will also find out how valuable their hard work will be when they transfer to a four-year university. Many of these families will save tens of thousands of dollars.

"That’s a double win for the student – they’re earning college credit, and reducing the amount of debt so many college students end up with these days.”

GECA is a carefully designed program that stresses foundation courses that most four-year institutions require. In the fall, students studied Music Appreciation, College Algebra, First-Year Experience, English Composition I, Speech, and Introduction to Psychology. This spring, they will focus on Introduction to Humanities, Trigonometry, English Composition II, Human Growth and Development, and Introduction to Sociology.

The second year of the program will include courses in literature, Spanish, history, statistics, and physical science.

To be eligible to participate in the GECA program, students are enrolled at NC State, and have to follow the guidelines of College Credit Plus. These guidelines include meeting college readiness standards in English, reading, and mathematics as measured by college placement testing.

Other considerations include previous high school coursework and performance, attendance, and work ethic.

Participants in the Galion Early College Academy are off to a strong start toward their higher education goals.

College Credit Plus Information for the 2020-2021 School Year

Parents and students are invited to the College Credit Plus Information Night on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Galion High School. Representatives will be on hand to discuss CCP and the steps students need to complete to participate.

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