Jim Frame and Kate Douglas at press conference

Tuition waived for ACE classes taught in high schools

SUNY Corning Community College will eliminate tuition charges for high school students who take SUNY CCC courses that are taught in their high schools, effective with the Fall 2019 semester.

The New York State 2019-2020 budget authorized community colleges to take this step in support of the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Beginning in 1972, SUNY CCC has partnered with approximately 40 regional high schools in the Southern Tier of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania to offer Accelerated College Education (ACE) courses for students in grades 10, 11, and 12. Since the program’s inception, these courses have been offered at a significant discount. Beginning with the Fall 2019 semester, SUNY CCC courses offered to high school students in a high school will be offered tuition-free. 

“We are delighted to be able to improve access to higher education coursework by reducing financial barriers for high school students who wish to earn college credits taught in their high school,” said Dr. Katherine P. Douglas, President, SUNY CCC. “The State’s decision empowers us to strengthen our partnership with area school districts and families to put more students on a path to finish high school academically ready to earn a college degree.”

“Access to tuition-free college courses taught in high schools will be a game-changer for some of the students in our districts,” said James Frame, District Superintendent of Schools for GST BOCES. “This opportunity removes both the financial barrier and the need to commute. The supplementary benefits these students realize are transformational. Students who earn college credits while still in high school cut the time and cost of a college degree: some high school graduates begin college with a full year of coursework already completed. In addition, successfully completing college courses taught at their high school confirms for students that they are ready for college work, ensuring that when they walk on a college campus, they do so with the confidence they need to succeed.”

Equity and accountability are at the heart of ESSA, according to MaryEllen Elia, New York State Commissioner of Education. The Plan incentivizes schools and districts to provide students with a well-rounded, high-quality education.

“One of the aspects of the ESSA plan I am most excited about is the new ‘College, Career, and Civic Readiness Index,’ which incorporates achievement in career and technical education and advanced coursework,” according to Elia. “Schools receive ‘extra credit’ for students who earn a Regents diploma with advanced designation, career and technical education endorsements, or a Seal of Biliteracy; or successfully earn a Regents diploma, complete advanced coursework, and score at specified levels on advanced high school assessments or earn college credit. As a result, we hope to see more schools offering advanced coursework and career readiness opportunities so that students graduate with the highest possible credential and are prepared for future success.”

SUNY CCC offers ACE courses to high school students. These classes are taught at the high schools, and they are taught by teachers who hold the appropriate degree and credentials required by the College to serve as adjunct instructors. More than 60 courses are available, including options in math, English, history, psychology, sociology.

SUNY CCC is a founding member of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and received accreditation status through NACEP in 2008. NACEP is an organization representing colleges from across the country that offer programs similar to ACE and was established for the purpose of professional exchange, development of common standards, and sharing of information regarding best practices for member colleges.