High school students getting a 'Jump Start'

December 16, 2005

DuBois -- Some of the recently approved state dual-enrollment money earmarked for local school districts will be used to supplement the Penn State DuBois Jump-Start program.

Designed to enable high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits at Penn State at a reduced price, the Jump Start program provides a 50 percent tuition reduction for numerous general education courses to eligible high school students. While this program has been offered for several years at the DuBois campus, the University most recently partnered with DuBois Area, Brockway Area and Jeff Tech schools to apply for additional "dual enrollment" funds from the state Department of Education that will further underwrite expenses associated with the program. The state announced the approval of numerous such dual enrollment funding applications in November.

According to Penn State DuBois Admission Officer Missy Duttry, eligible students from any nearby school district may enter the Jump Start program, but the recent Department of Education money further supports students from the partner school districts.

"This is money that will, in addition to the 50 percent tuition reduction, go further to underwrite the costs of books, tuition and fees," Duttry said. "With the combined dual-enrollment state grant and the 50 percent tuition reduction by Penn State, a Jump Start student from DuBois Area, Brockway or Jeff Tech would pay on an average of $325 for three credits, which would normally cost them about $1,200. In addition to the grants for tuition, some schools are also offering money for students to purchase books," Duttry said.

The actual grant varies among the school districts, so potential students are encouraged to contact their guidance counselors to determine eligibility and costs. Students from other districts still can enroll in Jump Start at Penn State DuBois using the 50 percent tuition reduction, Duttry added. Each school district has the opportunity to contract with the higher education partner of its choice, she said.

Curwensville High School senior Justin Clark of Olanta has taken art and history, and will take psychology this spring through the Jump Start program at Penn State DuBois. He said he would recommend the program to any eligible student who has time to participate.

"This is a good opportunity to get a jump on your degree, get acquainted with some of the professors and the student body along with the college environment, and save some money in the process," Clark said. "In my opinion, it's a win-win situation."

Clark intends to major in wildlife technology/sciences, with a minor in either forestry or biology, offered at Penn State DuBois.

The participants of the program must meet high school grade requirements and are identified as candidates through the schools' guidance offices. Any student interested in participating in Jump Start beginning in January is urged to contact his or her guidance counselor immediately, because classes for the spring semester at Penn State DuBois begin Jan. 9. This fall, 26 students participated in the program from throughout the Tri-County Area of Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk.

Depending on what currently is being offered, students can take anything from economics to art and mythology to geology. Duttry said the program has grown further since beginning to offer English 015 at Brockway High School, an opportunity that had also been offered in past years at DAHS.

"They become a Penn State student and earn real Penn State credits which can be used toward earning their degree here, at another Penn State campus or at University Park. Or they can transfer the credits to another college relatively easily," Duttry said.

The objective of dual enrollment programs, which are offered throughout the commonwealth at 77 participating universities and post-secondary institutions, is to help families save money, enable students to enter the workforce in a shorter amount of time, and to provide higher education experiences to high school students, especially in rural Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Jump Start program at Penn State DuBois, contact Duttry at (814)375-4720.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009