BOLTON LANDING - Senior High School students at Bolton Central now have more ways to earn college credits.
Beginning this year, BCS is offering seven college-level courses. Each is one semester long, yields three college credits and is taught by a BCS teacher.
The college-credit courses that BCS now offers as Senior course electives complement the online courses that the school began offering some years ago through SUNY Adirondack, Principal Damian Switzer said.
"This option gives students a live experience as opposed to an online experience," he said.
The offerings are another opportunity for seniors to earn college credits without leaving the school building and without having to pay for college tuition or books, he said. Bolton Central covers the cost.
In addition, BCS teachers who teach the college-level courses have now earned the professional status of adjunct college professors.
Switzer said his school worked with SUNY Adirondack and SUNY Plattsburgh to have some of the teachers certified as adjunct professors, with each respective college reviewing the curriculum, setting guidelines and prerequisites, plus assigning a representative to make classroom observations.
BCS secondary Social Studies teacher Scott McCarthy is teaching Model Organization of American States, a course which is accredited through SUNY Plattsburgh. He said that students write a legislation on specified topics, such as hemispheric security, integral development and the promotion of democracy as part of his course.
Spanish teacher Francisco Roca is teaching Intermediate Spanish 201 and 202, both accredited by SUNY Adirondack.
Roca said his classroom work follows the respective SUNY Adirondack course.
"I think offering college-level courses benefits the students in several ways," he said. "It gives them an opportunity to challenge themselves and it's a great way to prepare our students for college."
Likewise, Bolton's courses in French follow the same format as their college counterparts, said Leona Denne, who is in her 22nd year of teaching French at BCS. She is teaching Intermediate French 201 and 202, also both accredited by SUNY Adirondack.
"It's an awesome opportunity for students," she said, noting that the students save money by earning college credits in high school. "The students have an opportunity to pursue advanced work in a comfortable environment and interact with a human being as opposed to just with a computer - It's outside of their comfort zone as far as work goes, so it's a nice segue from high school to the world of college."
Denne added she also appreciated the college-level courses because they gave her an opportunity to teach something new.
For Laura Beuerman, however, teaching college level courses isn't new. Now a a secondary English Language Arts teacher, she once taught English at Mississippi State University where she discovered that her students weren't prepared. So she decided she wanted to teach younger students, catch them earlier in an effort to prepare them for rigors of college-level courses. Now she's teaching two accredited SUNY Adirondack courses: English Composition 101 (Intro to College Writing) and English 108 (Writing About Literature) to high school students.
Beuerman said that with Bolton students accomplishing these courses before arriving at college allows them more time to adjust to college life. Plus, the course work is more rigorous and help better prepare Bolton students for college-level studies, she said.
"I've seen a lot of growth in my students that I wouldn't normally get to see," she said.