High School students in the service areas of UW-Platteville’s branch campus in Baraboo have a new option to earn college credit in the sciences on a schedule that fits into the school day, thanks to the Science Academy, an initiative expanding for fall 2023.
The program schedules first-year biology and chemistry classes and their lab sessions on weekdays from 8-11 a.m., so that high school students can join regular college courses alongside other campus students, while still making it back to their high school for afternoon classes and other activities.
“Our hope is that a student who has already taken the highest-level science courses offered at their high school will be able to enroll directly in these college courses, while still being able to participate in afternoon classes and after-school activities at their high school,” said Dr. Jodi McDermott, dual enrollment coordinator for UW-Platteville.
According to McDermott, unlike Advanced Placement, or AP, courses that many students take in high school, since these are full college courses, the credits not only transfer, but they fulfill specific prerequisites for future majors as well – at UW-Platteville and other UW System schools, too.
The 8-11 a.m. daily schedule also includes time for students to consult with their instructors and with other college freshman and sophomore students enrolled in the classes at the branch campus.
“Any student planning on majoring in biology or in chemistry, which are very common majors for all kinds of career paths, can get a real jump on things through this program,” said Dr. Amanda Trewin, chair of UW-Platteville’s Department of Biology.
At the Baraboo Sauk County campus, initial enrollment in fall 2022 from students at nearby Baraboo High School has shown the value of the program, according to Chemistry Professor Dr. Stephen Swallen, whose classes now include enrolled high school students.
“By scheduling our regular classes this way, we are definitely expanding options for area high schools to get students a jump on earning college credit,” said Swallen.
Students need to apply and fulfill academic requirements before participating. Participation in the statewide Early College Credit Program (ECCP) requires application via a student's high school by March 1. Other questions about the Science Academy should start with an email to McDermott at firstname.lastname@example.org.