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More than 1,000 high school students this year will earn college credit through the Pathways to College Program at Madisonville Community College (MCC). Dr. Judith Rhoads, MCC President, proudly explains that students taking dual or articulated credit at high schools and tech campuses in Caldwell, Crittenden, Henderson, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Webster counties earn both high school and college credits for up to four courses at an affordable cost that can be as low as $50 per semester.

Students participating in the Pathways to College program can, without leaving their high school or tech campus, complete some of the basic classes in math, English, and history. Career and technical education courses leading to one of many career fields offered through MCC such as nursing or allied health professions, advanced integrated technology, welding, and EMT-paramedical are also available. Dr. Deborah Cox, MCC s Chief Academic Affairs Officer, explains that several years ago, the college renamed its dual credit initiatives. The name, Pathways to College Program, was more indicative of our efforts at the high school and college levels in preparing these students for their college work. With that comes the benefit to the students and their families of tremendous opportunities to reduce the costs of a college education and to save time completing it.

One prime example of how the Pathways to College Program can be of benefit has been demonstrated by the initial year of the First Steps Paramedical Program for Hopkins County students. It began with the collaboration of Baptist Health Madisonville and the Area Health Education Center in Hopkins County, Hopkins County Schools, Madisonville Community College, the local EMS service, and other interested groups who felt that there would be interest from senior high school students to take a dual credit Emergency Medical Technician class. The six credit hour course that would have cost $864 for tuition alone was structured so that the 12 students paid only a nominal cost. Additionally, MCC offered a summer biology class in which 5 of the 12 First Steps Paramedical students enrolled, and 8 of the 12 students are currently enrolled in fall classes at MCC, including 3 who are pursuing enrollment in the college s paramedical program.

Students interested in the Pathways to College Program should contact their local guidance office to see what opportunities are available.