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Jump Start" Collaboration with Boise State

Ontario High School continues to work at giving students a jump start on their college education. In addition to the "Col-Cred" program - a collaboration with Treasure Valley Community College - OHS now offers students the "Jump Start" program. It's a collaboration with Boise State University that similarly offers students the opportunity to take advanced courses at the high school for a reduced tuition fee and transferable college credits. This option is available to Ontario students thanks to OHS counselor Pat Trenkel's pursuit of it!

"Having the opportunity to join in a dual credit program with BSU adds to what we can offer students who wish to excel and are willing to do the required work," according to Glenda Eubanks, one of two OHS instructors currently teaching in the Jump Start program.

In recent years, a number of staff members and programs have made Ontario School District the western Treasure Valley favorite. This program again puts the district and OHS in the spotlight.

"OHS is one of a small number who had curriculum approved by Boise State University," Eubanks said.

OHS is the only school currently offering two classes in the program. OHS and Bishop Kelly (a private high school in Boise) are the only two high schools approved to teach Jump Start calculus.

The curriculum for Eubanks' Senior Honors English class had already been adapted to meet the requirements of a college writing class.

"There is no question of rigor," Eubanks said. "These students have to combine the writing requirements of the university and the literature requirements of the high school. They do double duty."

Eubanks said students work hard to succeed and post good grades to a BSU transcript that will transfer to many colleges and universities. This allows those who are advanced level students to complete freshman-level writing class requirements early.

"Not only can they complete a year's worth of required writing credits at a low cost, but they have slots that were previously filled in their schedules available for other classes," she said.

Students in the writing class write at college level. Eubanks said although it involved double the paperwork and triple the reading, it also requires working together closely in order to make it through.

Fellow Jump Start instructor Schauer said although he endured two grueling interviews with a BSU faculty committee, and must fax copies of the exams he gives to a cooperating instructor from the university, he finds teaching mathematics at this level very satisfying, saying, "the students themselves are a kick to teach." It's as rewarding for him as it is for his students.

"It's a great benefit to the students," Schauer said. "These students receive four semester credits in Calculus (M170) for a cost of around $120 - obviously, that is a monetary savings that they receive immediately.

"The second benefit is that they are considered part-time students at BSU with all the privileges that go along with part-time status," hecontinued. "They also are potentially cutting time off their stay in college or they may be cutting back on early credit requirements to lighten their load a little when they're freshmen." Schauer said the students enjoy a challenge and are self-motivated to learn.

"I have been teaching calculus for 17 years and find the students stimulating each and every year." For information on Ontario High School's "Jump Start" or "Col-Cred" programs, visit Ontario School District.