KBC to host open house on early college opportunities for high schoolers

On Monday, April 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus will hold an open house in the upstairs commons for high school sophomores and juniors and their parents.

The goal of the event is to share information about two programs that offer high schoolers the opportunity to earn early college credit prior to graduation.

College advisors, registration staff, KPC faculty and Annaleah Karron, college and career coordinator with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, will be available to answer questions.

Middle College

The Middle College program is an entirely free option that is paid for by KPBSD. All tuition, books and fees are covered for students enrolled in this program.

The eligibility required for this program is junior or senior status in a Kenai Peninsula brick-and-mortal school (home-school students are not eligible), a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and a placement test at the college level.

Prior to taking additional courses, students enrolled in this program are required to first take a basic university studies class offered at KPC to introduce students to academic and campus resources and guide them toward developing an academic plan.

In addition to the basic class, they can enroll in six credits in their first semester and up to 12 credits in subsequent semesters.

Students also have the opportunity to work with academic counselors at both the high school and the college. Registration for the program opened on April 1 with an online enrollment form that is accessible at https://kpbsd.org/departments/assistant-superintendent/instructional-services/secondary-education/college-career/middle-college/. Students are accepted on a first-come, first served basis. According to Shemef, the soft deadline for application to this program is May 15 but all required exams must be completed by Aug. 1.

Jump Start program

The Jump Start program is more flexible, partially funded by the borough and open to any interested student who is a resident of the borough and enrolled in public, private or home-school education. Up to six credits per semester are discounted for the student and any additional credits are full cost. The student or family is responsible for the remainder of the tuition, all fees and textbook costs.

In the 2023-2024 academic year, KPC had 23 Jump Start students enrolled and 18 Middle College students.

According to Karen Shemef, academic advisor at KPC, the total number of all students enrolled on campus (not just the early start programs) is difficult to calculate because of the variety of ways to enroll, including in person and via Zoom. Many students have a lower Kenai Peninsula address and residency but some are also enrolled as distance students. Homer senior citizens also receive free tuition.

Shemef and Nancy Johnson, student service manager, said that regardless of whether or not students can attend the open house event, they are welcome to visit KPC and learn more the program options for high school students. A website describing both options is available at https://kpc.alaska.edu/admissions-aid/registration/high-school-students/.

The Kachemak Bay Campus fall 2024 schedule is available at the campus now and classes start Aug. 26.