WHITLEY COUNTY -- Students at Whitley County High School will have more options for earning early college credits this coming school year as a variety of new credit-based classes have been added as part of a partnership with the University of the Cumberlands.

The Whitley County Board of Education was presented with the new credit opportunity courses during their regular monthly meeting Thursday, where Krysti Conlin, chair of the department of career technical education for the school district, provided additional information about what will be available to students once school starts. According to Conlin, all of the high school's educational pathways will offer courses in which students can obtain articulated credits.

Articulated credit classes differ from dual credit in that those classes are more focused on the particular pathways and students can remain at the high school for those courses instead of being simultaneously enrolled at a college or university. As long as a student passes those classes with a B or higher, they will receive college credit at the University of the Cumberlands once enrolling.

The amount of hours available for each pathway will vary.

"I added it up, and for the marketing pathway, they can leave with 18 hours at Cumberland," said Conlin.

Classes that offer articulated credit can also be taken alongside existing classes that offer dual credit, which can provide a student with a fairly hefty head start once they reach college.

"You add that with dual credit that they can do in our academic side and they can come out as a sophomore in college," said Conlin.

The partnership between the school district and the university is at no cost to the district.

In other board of education business:

- A new data plan focused on bolstering the safety of the Whitley County School District's data and records was approved. Kevin Anderson, chief information officer for the district, discussed the strategy being used to keep the district's information safe, saying that the key is "training and re-training."

- Vehicle and watercraft property rates were also set, though no changes were made. The rate will remain at 55.20 cents per $100 of assess value. Superintendent John Siler said the rate has remained unchanged since 2003.

The board will consider and set real estate tax rates at their September meeting.

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