Getting a Head Start

Taking College in the Schools (CIS) classes that New Ulm High School offers is beneficial in many ways

CIS+Students+work+on+online+modules
CIS Students work on online modules

CIS Students work on online modules

CIS Students work on online modules

Elise Webb, Contributor

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As students have the ability to plan out their high school schedules every year, they have opportunities to go above and beyond their learning capabilities. Some students get by with the bare minimum, others excel among the average, and the other 40% of juniors and seniors challenge themselves with college classes.

For about fifteen years, New Ulm High School has committed to providing opportunities that will enhance students academics. A major offering that New Ulm High School encourages is the College in the Schools Program (CIS). Seniors in the top half of their class and juniors in the top third are capable of signing up for these classes. NUHS currently offers thirteen SMSU and MSU courses. By taking these classes, students are able to receive college credits that transfer to any two or four-year institution. A total of forty-six credits can be achieved by taking all thirteen courses.

There are many benefits to earning college credits in high school. Too many intelligent students pass up opportunities to earn college credits during their high school years for just a tiny fraction of what they will pay later in freshman tuition. Taking college-level courses while still in high school can alleviate some of the pressure of funding finances. Some savings may be more incremental. “Students who’ve earned around 6 credits with two CIS courses can save about $2,000 by not paying for those credits, course books or supplies at a public college. And they could save $6,000 at a higher-cost private university,” according to staff writer Susannah Snider at U.S. News.

Many students taking the college courses offered at New Ulm High School also have to look forward to graduating college early if they have completed around 12-30 credits. Senior Kaiya Gieseke says that  “getting ahead in credits at no cost” is a huge benefit for her. This saves a sufficient amount of money on tuition and other college costs.  

Not only does taking college classes in high school save significant tuition costs, it also benefits those by setting them up for success in college. Students who take CIS classes are more likely to be college-ready and understand college professors’ expectations. Students should be advised to push themselves when it comes to their high school classes, taking the more difficult route will often give a close preview of what college-level courses will be like. Taking these classes also helps those learn to manage stress and time.

When college classes are taught in high school, “students get the benefit of having a small class size, knowing your teacher and having access to him/her on a daily basis, and having more days/hours in class to learn the material,” says guidance counselor Ms. Frank. A small class size can significantly benefit your learning environment. When a class size is small, the teacher teaches at a more personal level. Being able to have access to your teacher everyday makes it much easier to get any help needed when compared to a college professor who has specific office hours.

Advice to incoming juniors and seniors: if you qualify to take any of these CIS classes NUHS offers it would be a huge benefit for you to do so. ”

— Elise Webb

Advice to incoming juniors and seniors: if you qualify to take any of these CIS classes NUHS offers it would be a huge benefit for you to do so. Many high school students are concerned about getting the required credits to graduate out of the way. Although students should have that in their mind, they should also look closely at the credits they’re taking to ensure that they are beneficial for college in the future. In taking CIS classes it gives students a smoother transition from high school to college.

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