Flexible Learning Pathways

College

Accessible Higher Learning

The VLACS early college program offers students the opportunity to earn college credit and potentially an associate degree while attending high school! The idea is that students have the capability to meet the rigorous intellectual challenges posed by college level work, especially when motivated by the opportunity to save time and money.

How It Works

The VLACS early college program offers students three levels of college experience including:

a la carte

1. A La Carte
Students review course offerings and enroll in one or more Early College Course(s). This is intended for students wanting to experience college level learning and earn a few college credits prior to graduating high school.

 

 

 

first year of college

2. First Year of College

Designed for students that would like to complete the first year of a two-year associate degree while in high school and receive academic support and guidance from VLACS staff members. To get started, complete the application.

associates degree in liberal arts

3. Associate Degree in Liberal Arts
Allows students to develop a strong foundation in general knowledge while gaining exposure to a range of subject matter. The 20 required courses will earn students an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. To get started, complete the application.

accredited partners

 

 

Accredited Partners

We partner only with accredited colleges to give VLACS students an edge when it comes to adding college-level learning to their high school experience.

 

 

Real College Professors

VLACS college courses are actual college courses taught by instructors who have the requisite degrees and background to teach at the college level. These are not “enhanced” high school courses — we partner only with accredited colleges to give VLACS students an edge when it comes to adding college-level learning to their high school experience.

real college courses

college student coaches

 

 

College Student Coaches

Students enrolled in the full-year or associate degree programs are also assigned a coach at the partner college who will provide support and help the student meet his or her academic goals.

 

Varied Structure

The structure and schedule of each student’s college coursework will vary depending on the partner school selected.

varied structure 2

More Information

See below for further details on VLACS’ early college program.

Our Partner Schools

VLACS has partnered with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to offer this unique early college program. Students have the option of completing one or more college courses, completing the first year of an associate degree program, or completing an entire associate degree program while in high school. Students who earn an associate degree through this program will be invited to receive their degree at Southern New Hampshire University’s commencement ceremony.

VLACS has also partnered with the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) to offer a number of additional college courses. Some of these courses may be used to fulfill parts of the SNHU degree requirements. Each institution offers unique and exciting opportunities to students.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Courses

  • Enroll anytime, students work at their own pace
  • Courses taught by VLACS instructors who meet the academic requirements to be an adjunct college instructor
  • Courses can be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements
  • Courses can be used to satisfy associate degree in liberal arts requirements at SNHU
  • Some courses may be used to satisfy associate degree in liberal arts requirements at Community College System of NH campuses
  • Course credit may transfer to other colleges and universities
  • Associate degree awarded to high school students who meet all program requirements

eStart - Community College System of NH (CCSNH) Courses

  • Follows Community College System of NH calendar
  • Courses taught by Community College System of NH adjunct or full-time instructors
  • Courses can be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements
  • Some courses may be used to satisfy associate degree in liberal arts requirements at SNHU
  • Some courses may be used to satisfy associate degree in liberal arts requirements at Community College System of NH campuses
  • Course credit may transfer to other colleges and universities
  • No degree available to high school students

The Role of the Early College Coach

College level courses are rigorous and demanding. In order to help students successfully meet college level expectations, VLACS assigns an early college coach to every student who elects to enroll in the full-year or associate degree option. Early college coaches provide assistance and other supports which include:

  • Connecting students with support for writing and math
  • Helping students develop skills in organization, study skills, and time management
  • Monitoring progress toward meeting plan of study goals
  • Regular check-ins with students and parents
  • Liaison with SNHU, if needed

Monthly online webinars will be offered to all students enrolled in this program. During these webinars you will meet students from other parts to the state and have the opportunity to share your experiences, ask questions, and learn about topics related to being a successful college student.

Further Details: First Year of College

The one-year option is designed for students that would like to complete the first year of a two-year associate degree while in high school and receive academic support and guidance from VLACS staff members. Students interested in this option will complete an application, meet with a VLACS counselor, and develop a plan of study. Once the plan of study is complete an early college academic advisor will be assigned to assist and monitor the student’s progress. Students may take the college courses over multiple high school years but will need to complete 30 college credits (10 courses) before graduation.

One-Year Guidelines:

  • Student will complete an Early College application
  • Student will meet with a VLACS counselor to discuss and develop a plan of study
  • Student will be assigned to an Early College coach
  • Student will earn 30 college credits (10 courses) prior to graduating high school. Courses will be selected from the titles required for completion of an associate degree in Liberal Arts at SNHU
  • Student may complete the college course work anytime between enrollment in the Early College program and graduation from high school
  • Student will attend at least three monthly information and discussion sessions per year. These sessions will be led by a VLACS Early College coach and will be open to other students enrolled in the Early College program
  • Student is responsible for any administrative course fees charged by SNHU.
  • Student will receive an official transcript from SNHU documenting that they have completed the first year of the SNHU associate degree in liberal arts.
  • Student will receive a VLACS transcript listing all VLACS courses and competencies successfully completed

Further Details: Associate Degree in Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts associate degree option is designed for students interested in earning an associate degree while in high school. Students will work with a VLACS Early College Advisor to develop a multi-year plan that will allow them to earn a Liberal Arts Associate degree through SNHU during their high school years. Students will need to earn 60 college credits (typically 20 courses) through a combination of required and elective courses through eStart, SNHU and AP course offerings. Not all courses may be available at all times. Students will coordinate course selection and planning with their early college coach.

The Liberal Arts associate degree allows students to develop a strong foundation in general knowledge while gaining exposure to a range of subject matter. The seven required courses will develop a strong foundation for future studies and provide valuable information workplace skills. Because these courses are part of the SNHU four-year degree core curriculum,  they smoothly integrate with any of the SNHU four-year degree programs, if you choose to continue your studies at SNHU.  Students who are interested in a four-year degree program should contact the SNHU admissions department.

Liberal Arts Associate Degree Guidelines:

  • Student will complete an Early College application
  • Student will meet with a VLACS counselor to discuss and develop a plan of study
  • Student will be assigned to an Early College coach
  • Student will earn 60 college credits (20 courses) prior to graduating high school. Courses will be selected from the titles required for completion of an associate degree in Liberal Arts at SNHU.
  • Student may complete the college course work anytime between enrollment in the Early College program and graduation from high school
  • Student will attend at least four monthly information and discussion sessions per year.  These sessions will be led by a VLACS Early College coach and will be open to other students enrolled in the Early College program
  • Student is responsible for any administrative course fees charged by SNHU.
  • Student will receive an official transcript from SNHU following completion of one-year of college level courses
  • Student will receive an associate degree and transcript from SNHU following completion of the requirements listed below.
  • Student will have the option to receive his/her degree at the SNHU commencement ceremony
  • Student will receive a VLACS transcript listing all VLACS courses and competencies successfully completed

Liberal Arts Major Courses

Required Courses*

  • IT 100 OR Free Elective
  • COM 212: Public Speaking
  • ENG-122: English Composition I
  • ENG-123: English Composition II
  • FAS-201: Introduction to Humanities I
  • FAS-202: Introduction to Humanities II

MAT (Math) Required Course – Select One of the Following:

  • MAT-130: Applied Finite Mathematics
  • MAT-140: Precalculus
  • MAT-210: Applied Calculus I

*EFAH (Fine Arts and Humanities): 6 credits (two courses)
*ESTM (Science, Technology, and Math): 6 credits (two courses)
*ESBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences): 6 credits (two courses)
Liberal Arts Electives: 6 credits (two courses)
Free Electives: 15 credits (five courses)

Total: 60 credits

*Requirements cannot be fulfilled by two courses in the same discipline.

**Please note, not all courses are available at all times. Students typically take a combination of SNHU, eStart and AP courses to meet their LTCollege goal.

College FAQs

How do I enroll in VLACS’ early college program?

À la Carte:

First-year of associate’s degree or first year of college:

  • Complete application
  • Student will receive an email regarding admission to the early college program within ten working days in most cases

Aren’t high school students too young to complete college courses?

No. For decades, high school school students have been meeting the demands of Advanced Placement and dual credit courses. In many instances, however, these programs have been available only to top performing students or such programs have been available only to students in large or affluent school districts. We believe that any student who is motivated by the challenge of meeting high academic standards should have the opportunity to take a single college course, complete a year of college, or to earn an associate’s degree.

Will credits that I earn in this program transfer to other colleges or universities?

Many courses will transfer to other colleges, however, to be sure, students must consult with the college or university you are planning to attend after high school to get a definite answer.

Are there any additional charges beyond the $100 per course administrative fee for SNHU courses?

  • All SNHU courses have required text books Text books range in cost from $10-$85. Students will purchase these books after enrolling in the course. Course specific textbook information can be found on the SNHU Bookstore for VLACS website.
  • Students who qualify for an associate’s degree will need to submit an intent to graduate form along with a $150 graduation fee.

How long does it take to complete these courses?

The traditional pacing for these courses is 16-18 weeks. However, you may complete the courses over a longer period of time, if needed, or you may opt to complete courses on an accelerated pace.

Do I have to be a full-time student at VLACS to earn an associate’s degree?

No. If you are a full-time student at a traditional school you will need to meet with a school guidance counselor in order to determine if you can fit these courses into your schedule.

How many high school credits do I earn when I complete a college course?

If you are a VLACS full-time student, you will earn one credit. If you are a full-time student at at traditional school, please contact your guidance counselor to find out how many credits will be transferred to your transcript.

What are the costs for out-of-state students?

The tuition and fees for an SNHU course (excluding the cost of textbooks) is $606 broken down as follows:

  • Non-refundable registration fee: $30
  • Non-resident tuition: $476
  • SNHU registration fee: $100
  • Textbook fee: varies

The tuition and fees for a CCSNH course (excluding the cost of textbooks) is $656 broken down as follows:

  • Non-refundable registration fee: $30
  • Non-resident tuition: $476
  • CCSNH registration fee: $150
  • Cost of textbooks: varies

How do I take a class through eStart?

eStart is a partnership between VLACS and the Community College System of New Hampshire. Credits earned through eStart are dual credits: high school and college. Any New Hampshire junior or senior from high school, private school, alternative school or home educated can take 100% online courses taught by CCSNH instructors. Tuition is just $150 per course and the credits can be used toward a degree program at CCSNH or other post secondary institutions. Please email estart@ccsnh.edu for more information.

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