PEI

P.E.I. high school students to get university credits for business classes

Some Island high school students now have a chance to get a head start on university. The province has just signed an agreement with UPEI, which will allow students who complete three specific high school business courses, to earn a credit for UPEI's Business 101.

Three high school business courses equal to one at UPEI, under new agreement

High school students who score at least 70% in three specific business-related courses, will get credit for Business 101 at UPEI. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Some Island high school students now have a chance to get a head start on university. The province has just signed an agreement with UPEI, which will allow students who complete three specific high school business courses, to earn a credit for UPEI's Business 101.

"They will save having to do a full course, so that's work they won't have to do [at UPEI]," said Juergen Krause, UPEI's Dean of Business. "So they don't have to sit in class or do the homework. It makes it a little easier for them. And of course, if you don't have to do the course, you don't have to pay for the course."

Juergen Krause, UPEI's Dean of Business, hopes the dual credit will be an incentive for students to attend the university. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Similar agreement at Holland College 

To get the UPEI credit, students will need a 70 per cent in three high school courses: World of Business, Grade 12 Economics or Accounting, and one other business course. 

Students who have met those requirements this year, will get the credit if they attend UPEI in September.

"Essentially we saw there were certain courses within the program of studies at high school that were very similar to a lot of the courses at post-secondary," said Keiran Hennessey, business leader with P.E.I.'s education department.

Kieran Hennessey, business leader with P.E.I's education department, says the department is also looking into other potential dual credit opportunities in other subject areas. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

"What we wanted to do was give students the opportunity, who have taken these courses, to not repeat some of the same learning they've already taken at high school."

While this is a first for UPEI, Holland College has had a similar agreement in place for a couple of years. Under that agreement, students need to earn a 60 per cent in Grade 12 academic accounting to get credit for a similar accounting course at Holland College. The same rules apply to Grade 12 economics. 

At this point, the education department doesn't have dual credit agreements with any post-secondary institutions outside P.E.I. 

UPEI's business dean hopes this will serve as a good recruitment tool for the university. 

"It's an opportunity for us to provide a pathway and an incentive for students to join our institution at UPEI for their further education," said Krause.

"It will also allow students to have a transition phase where they can get more ready in high school for what they're expecting here."

Dual credit only possible at some high schools 

But not all P.E.I. high school students will be able to take advantage of the dual credit opportunity with UPEI. That's because not all island high schools offer all the required courses needed to get the university credit. 

"Certainly staffing would be a major issue," said Hennessey. "Depending on how many staff are available in the high school, that dictates how many courses can be offered in the high school."

Hennessey says the education department is starting to explore other potential dual credit opportunities.