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New program giving Glen Oaks High students a taste of college

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BATON ROUGE - This year, one capital area school is changing up its curriculum by introducing college courses at a younger age.

Glen Oaks has partnered with Baton Rouge Community College to give ninth-graders a chance to take part in a new program: Pathways to Brighter Futures. Initially, the courses will be mandatory for ninth-graders to try out, but they'll be able to opt out of the program if it does not suit them.

To ensure student success, four-week checkpoints will monitor their performance. If a student is failing out, they will be pulled from the program.

The college courses will not affect a student's grade if it is dropped within the grace period, before April 1.

The program is paid for by the school district. Any high schooler is welcome to take courses at BRCC, but the paid program is only available to those starting the program in ninth grade. 

While it may seem like a young age to start higher education classes, it gives students the opportunity to receive an associate's degree while receiving their high school diploma. So far, feedback from students has pointed toward a positive impact.

"It's a blessing to me. You know, most kids don't get this opportunity," ninth-grader Jamarcus Young said.

Officials from the district say that 83 percent of ninth-graders who participated in the program this year received one or more college credits. With the positive impact it's having on students, Glen Oaks High is sharing the positive feedback and encouraging other high schools to develop similar programs. 

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