CU Announces Convenient and Lower-cost Options for College-level Course Delivery at Area High Schools

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 03 2008

CONTACT: John Thackston, Admissions Counselor, SIP Coordinator

CU Announces Convenient and Lower-cost Options for College-level Course Delivery at Area High Schools

Athens, W.Va. – Concord University announces a new educational initiative, beginning May 27th, which will provide over 30 general education courses for college credit available at all of the 36 high schools and career and technical schools in 12 southern West Virginia counties – Braxton, Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Webster, and Wyoming. The courses will be scheduled at times convenient for those attending public or private high schools, as well as students who are homeschooled. Cost per credit hour for the classes will be about 70 percent lower than Concord’s regular tuition.

“Courses delivered through the Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP) will cover all public, private, and homeschooled students in their junior and senior academic years,” stated Mr. John Thackston, admissions counselor and SIP coordinator for Concord University. “The Program will also include remedial instruction in English and math for those students who have not met the minimal test standards for admission to the 100-level college courses in these subjects. The courses being offered are identical in course content and standards to the courses being taught at the Athens and Beckley campuses of Concord University and will receive the same academic recognition at other colleges and universities throughout the state and across the country.”

There are a number of innovative features in this new program but none is more significant than the program objective – to provide encouragement to individuals, who might not see college as a realistic possibility in their future, to reconsider their position. As Dr. Stephen Rowe, interim vice president and academic dean at Concord relates: “Too many of our current students have not seen college education as essential, affordable, obtainable, or accessible. We believe SIP provides an opportunity for high school students who may want to pursue a college degree to achieve their dream.”

Dr. Bill O’Brien, director of the Beckley Center for Concord University points out: “Ninety percent of the jobs and careers in the 21st Century’s global economy require some level of education beyond that offered in the high school curriculum. That education could be in the form of certification programs available in the trades, healthcare, business administration, and finance, to associate degrees which are offered in our community college programs, to bachelor degrees for the professions and management careers offered by our four-year institutions. Without a well trained and highly motivated workforce, economic growth and development is impossible in the region, the state or the nation as a whole. It is the task of the educational process and system to create that workforce.”

“Concord has completed an exhaustive planning process to allow for delivery of college courses at high schools,” stated Mr. Michael Curry, vice president for admissions and financial aid. “Our special pricing and scholarships will help, too.”

There will be a special tuition rate for SIP students - $56 per credit hour, which is about 70 percent lower than the standard tuition at Concord of $184 per credit hour. A further financial incentive is included in a scholarship program for SIP participants. Each student who takes and passes a SIP course and who later enrolls at Concord as a full-time student will receive financial credit for the SIP tuition. Further, if the student receives a “B” in the course he or she will be eligible for a one-time $250 scholarship and an “A” brings a one-time $500 scholarship.

To be eligible to participate in the program, the high school student must have a GPA of 2.0 or better, meet the course prerequisites, and have the recommendation of their high school faculty and administration. As Concord University President, Dr. Jerry Beasley, noted, “Success in college is dependent on hard work and discipline. In short, a college education is within the reach of many in our area who just need a convenient time for class … and reasonable prices that fit within family budgets.”

Dr. Beasley went on to say that, “Concord University is very excited about this new innovative educational initiative for our communities and the positive response by the secondary school officials.” Dr. Beasley also stated that “steps are being taken by the University to form partnerships with other state institutions in order to take full advantage of all of the educational resources available in our communities. Only by working together can we expect to change the economic environment of our region for generations to come.”

All facilities where SIP classes will be taught are handicap accessible.

For further information on SIP and how you can take advantage of this unique educational program, contact John Thackston, admissions and SIP coordinator. Mr. Thackston can be reached at or 1-304-252-1516.