Submitted by Niagara County Community College
At a time when the pandemic has brought challenges for many in the academic realm, Niagara County Community College is improving access to higher education for high school students through the college acceleration program (CAP). CAP allows students to take college courses at their own high school, following NCCC curriculum. In essence, the dual-enrolled high school students are getting a head start on their college careers.
By participating in CAP, high school students can concurrently enroll to take college courses while receiving both high school and college credit. As college costs and student debt is rising nationwide, the ability to save time and money through CAP classes while in high school is a huge advantage.
Former CAP student and current NCCC student Gabriela Bonura said, “I would recommend high school students taking CAP classes because they are very affordable, and it does prepare you for the rigorous coursework when in college.”
The benefits of CAP are more than just financial savings, as high school students have an opportunity to lighten their course load when they do start college. This opens the door for students to explore more electives, earn a double-major, complete an internship, or participate in a study abroad program. The experience of earning college credit while still in high school helps to further prepare students for the expectations they will face and the culture of a college environment.
“Taking college courses in the comfort of my high school has made for a great transitional period prior to college,” Lockport High School Senior Delaney Adams said.
Currently, there are participating high schools within Western New York offering college credits through NCCC CAP at a discounted rate of $79 per credit. For the spring 2021 semester, a limited number of scholarships will be available to high school CAP students whose families faced financial hardships due to COVID-19.
To learn more about CAP, visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/academics/highschool/.