HUMBOLDT - Humboldt Community School District has renewed its 28E agreement with Iowa Central Community College.
The agreement allows Humboldt High School students to take Iowa Central courses at the high school for dual credit.
"We have several courses where instructors come from Iowa Central and teach classes here on our campus," Lori Westhoff, HHS principal, said.
These courses include Composition I, Composition II, Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and Introduction to Corrections, as well as a set of courses on residential construction.
HHS instructors also teach some of the concurrent enrollment or "early bird" classes, including Statistics I and II, Introduction to Health Care, Medical Terminology, Introduction to Accounting, Web Design, Business Communication, and Introduction to Agriculture Business.
"We also offer four years of engineering through the college program," Westhoff said. "We're very fortunate that a lot of our teachers have a master's degree and we're able to have them teach college courses, as well."
On average, students at HHS graduate with 13-14 college credit hours, Westhoff said, with more than 80 percent of its students taking advantage of the offerings.
"Over the last several years anywhere from 99 percent of our students have taken at least one college class before they graduate," she said. "Last year we had three students graduate with 36 to 40 credit hours."
The school district pays for the college courses.
"The students pay for a third of the textbook cost, but that's their only expense," Westhoff said.
According to Westhoff, the benefits of offering college-level instruction to students are many.
"It allows them to get college experience, so they get an idea what college work is like," she said. "It allows them when they graduate with that many hours to complete college in a short timeframe, or not have to take as many college hours . It also allows some students to complete double majors or a major and minor because they have so many hours. Plus it saves the family a lot money."
Greg Darling, Humboldt CSD superintendent, said the partnership with Iowa Central has been great for the district.
"Our test scores have increased with those added college classes and opportunities for students," he said. "Kids don't necessarily take senior high classes anymore because they want to take those classes and they can expand. Our seniors, three of them have a full slate because they want to continue on. And it's a great bargain."