By Chip Chandler
A newly expanded West Texas A&M University program will offer home schooling families college-level credit for a significantly reduced cost.
The Pre-University Program allows eligible students the chance to take certain classes while attending high school for $150 per course, not including textbooks.
“The PUP program is ideal for home-schooled students because it’s flexible and affordable, and WT is a proven pioneer in online education,” said Dr. Brad Johnson, vice president for strategic relations. “A talented and motivated student can earn 30 or more hours of credit prior to formally entering college, saving tens of thousands on the cost of a bachelor degree. And if they choose to study online, the courses can match their home-schooled curriculum.”
Students may take campus courses or online courses and will be expected to perform at the college level of rigor and self-discipline, Johnson said.
“They’ll be able to apply those credits to their undergraduate degree at WT or any other Texas public institution, and most public or private institutions nationally,” Johnson said. “These are the same courses taken by the rest of the university student body, taught by the same faculty.”
To enroll, students must demonstrate college readiness which is accomplished through test scores or meeting certain exemptions. Students may enroll in University core courses and foreign language courses.
Expanding PUP to include home-schoolers has been in the works for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the plan.
“We know that some families are struggling to provide quality learning experiences for their high school students because of the COVID-19 disruptions. Students attending traditional high schools have many dual-credit options and support in accessing those courses through their community colleges. WT is reaching out to home schooling families, where we believe we can be a positive option now and in the future,” Johnson said.
Prospective students only need to apply, provide college transcripts (if available) and college readiness documentation, and speak with a WT adviser to select courses before enrolling and paying.
Fall classes begin Aug. 24. Core courses are offered in online, in-person and hybrid formats and are available until the classes are full. Masks and social distancing are required in all campus buildings, including classrooms.