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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Perrysburg: Program allows same-site college credits, is applauded

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Math teacher Ray Pohlman assists, from left, Sarah Stuckey, Elizabeth Ransey, Justin Longenberger, and Jon Sladky. Math teacher Ray Pohlman assists, from left, Sarah Stuckey, Elizabeth Ransey, Justin Longenberger, and Jon Sladky.
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Perrysburg High School is offering a new program this school year that allows its students to earn college credit without leaving the school or worrying for months about an advanced placement test.

The high school is offering statistics and American history classes for college credit, through a partnership with Oberlin College, located about 45 minutes southwest of Cleveland.

"We put college-type demands on the students. I've had them do a ton of reading and quite a lot of writing," said Dean Ferguson, who teaches the American history class at Perrysburg High School. "The students are doing just outstanding work."

The Oberlin College program provides another option for Perrysburg students hoping to earn college credit. Perrysburg High School allows students to take classes at area colleges or take advanced placement classes at the high school.

The advanced placement classes let students receive college credit by scoring well on standardized tests at the end of each course. In the Oberlin College program, students automatically get college credit for successfully completing the course work.

Chris Sladky, a junior who is taking the statistics and American history courses offered through the Oberlin College program, said these classes have advantages over advanced placement classes.

"You're more focused on actually learning the material and applying it rather than worrying about the huge test at the end," Chris said. "It's a really nice opportunity."

Perrysburg High school is the only school in northwest Ohio that is partnering with Oberlin College. The college cooperates with about a dozen high schools around the state in the Oberlin College Educational Alliance Network program.

Teachers from the participating high schools attended a week-long training session last summer to work with Oberlin College professors on developing their courses.

"It's like we were going back to college ourselves," Mr. Ferguson said.

The teachers are not the only ones held to high standards. High school students who want to enroll in classes through the Oberlin College network must apply to the college, submitting transcripts and recommendations from teachers. This year, Perrysburg High School has 12 students taking the American history class and 36 students taking the statistics class.

"Students really love the opportunity to do something within their high schools that's at a college level," said Anne Trubek, director of the Oberlin College network. "We get to be more involved in the community, and it's a way for us to possibly recruit students."

The college credit awarded to high school students through the Oberlin College program is accepted by many other colleges around the country.

Sarah Stuckey, a Perrysburg High School senior, is planning to major in business or accounting, so the credit she receives from the statistics class will be useful to fulfill some of her college requirements.

John Crecelius, curriculum director for Perrysburg schools, said the district is looking into offering more courses next year through the Oberlin College program and working with other area colleges to develop similar partnerships.

"I'm hoping that this will move learning to a higher level," he said. "I'm pretty excited about the possibilities."



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