Jim Thorpe High School students will have access to three additional college level classes next year thanks to a new dual enrollment agreement between the district and the Lehigh Carbon Community College that was reviewed by the district school board at its meeting Monday night. While the board has yet to ratify the new agreement, it did pass a motion to add the three new classes to the school's curriculum.

Currently, students in the district can earn up to 27 college credit hours before they graduate high school. The board's decision will give students access to a class on modern social problems, a world geography class and a class on human growth and development. About 110 students are taking one or more college classes while still attending high school in Jim Thorpe.

"These new classes complement our existing coursework," explained Jim Thorpe High School Principal Thomas Lesisko. "Modern Social Problems complements our sociology course. So, they would take one in the fall and the other in the spring. The Human Growth and Development class complements our psychology class and the geography is a general social studies course that students expressed an interest in."

"The new courses are online classes with an open enrollment," Lesisko said. "We can have as few as one student or as many as 20 in the program, which gives us a lot of flexibility. Plus, students can take the courses from home."

"This is a very valuable program for our students," said board member Randall Smith, the district's representative to LCCC. "Every college credit these high students earn can be transferred to virtually every college in the United States. It's a great head start and can be a significant cost savings to students and their families. It's a very good opportunity."

In other LCCC news, Smith reported that the school has been notified by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education that its Associates Degree in Human Services program is now nationally accredited. A student that graduates with this degree from LCCC is automatically qualified to test for board certification as a human services practitioner after two years in the field.