Earlier this summer, Carroll College and the Helena School District announced the launch of Early Access, a partnership between Carroll College and area high schools which allows qualifying high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to enroll in classes at Carroll College for free.

Students interested in the program can join us for an “Early Access” Open House scheduled from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Trinity Hall on the Carroll College campus. Families will have the opportunity to learn about the program, register for classes, and meet Carroll faculty. Representatives from Helena Public Schools will be in attendance also.

Students in this program are going to experience the best of both worlds. They are going to get very close attention and support from a world-class faculty and they are going to receive the academic rigor that truly prepares them for college. These students will also experience the welcoming and engaging Carroll College community, which our current students and alumni tell us is unique and very special.

Students will have the opportunity to acquire up to a year’s worth of college credits tuition-free, allowing them the potential to earn a college degree in three years. The program allows students to select from over 45 different courses all scheduled on campus throughout the day and early evening. Course topics include: Anthrozoology, Biology, Chemistry, Business, Film/TV Production, Communications, Social Media, Servant Leadership, Computer Programming, Web Design, Information Systems, Engineering, French, Ancient Greek, Latin, Spanish III, Differential Calculus, Math Modeling, Psychology, Physics, Advanced Acting, and Intro to Stage Design.

Helena High’s incoming senior, Connor Murgel, who plans to enroll in the program, said it best in a recent note to me: “Carroll’s Early Access program is a tremendous opportunity which definitely should be considered by high school juniors and seniors. Money is a factor when choosing a college, so saving money now and getting college credits out of the way will be very helpful in making this journey more cost effective. To add to that, we, as students, will be able to learn in an environment in which we will find ourselves in a year or two. This program will provide us with a chance to experience the college classroom on a smaller scale prior to starting as a college freshman. Students get to learn in a fun environment, prepare themselves for college, and save themselves and their families a significant amount of money.”

In order to be considered for the Early Access program, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and receive permission from their high school counselor in order to attend. While tuition is free, there is a $60 student fee per semester which covers parking, technology, use of the Carroll library, and admission to Carroll athletic events. Some classes may have an additional course fee for labs. Students will be responsible to purchase their own books.

For more information, contact the Carroll College Office of Admissions at 406-447-4387 or visit www.carroll.edu/apply/carroll-early-access.

John E. Cech, Ph.D., is the president of Carroll College. Email him at President@Carroll.edu.

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