By Times Staff
The Salem News
---- — GLOUCESTER — When Gloucester High School students starting the 10th grade return to class next week, they’ll not only be stepping into their sophomore year at GHS.
They’ll have the chance to get a big leg up on their first year in college, as well.
An agreement formally signed last week by Gloucester Superintendent of Schools Richard Safier, Mayor Carolyn Kirk and Endicott College President Richard E. Wylie has firmed up a program under which GHS students can earn up to 15 Endicott College credits while adding to their high school credits.
The program will require the high school sophomores to commit to a three-year program of college courses, beginning with this year’s Liberal Studies course “Seminar in Academic Inquiry” to be taught by a Gloucester High instructor in cooperation with a supervising Endicott professor.
That program will be followed during the student’s junior year by a two-class course of study, with a humanities-based program including a college writing seminar and a modern history course.
A similar two-class course of study for the student’s senior year of high school will “likely include” a social science course and an oceanography course, according to the high school’s program guide.
In each course, the participating student will earn five high school credits and three Endicott College credits, meaning the students will have the chance to ring up 10 high school credits and six for Endicott during each of the two years of two courses each.
The tuition rate for the college credit courses is set at $225 for each three-credit course, meaning that the students can earn 15 Endicott College credits for less than $1,200 while still in high school, officials noted.
School officials said they will be seeking a new “cohort” of students each year for the program, beginning this fall, with enrollment limited to 25 10th-graders beginning each year. And some two dozen students have enrolled for this fall, school officials said.
The program is the latest dual enrollment program launched at Gloucester High, which also has matriculation agreements covering anywhere from 2.5 to 15 credits with Salem State University and North Shore Community College. The agreement with Endicott, however, marks the city’s and school system’s first such program involving a private college.
The program also marks Endicott’s latest step to bolster its presence in Gloucester and on Cape Ann since the Beverly-based school first moved into its Gloucester campus in the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce building at 33 Commercial St. in 2012.