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St. Bona program entering second year on high note

August 20, 2010
The Warren County School District’s Dual Enrollment program with St. Bonaventure University looks to be off to a strong start for the upcoming school semester. Program administrators met with a packed room of students and parents at the university’s Pine Grove facilities Thursday night to review what to expect and what needs done in preparation for the fall semester. According to Robert Crowley, a member of the program’s board of directors, 11 students are returning to the program from last year. A total of 34 to 37 students plan to participate in the upcoming fall semester. Crowley deemed the program’s first year a success, adding, “If anything makes me feel good, it’s the testimonials of the students coming back to the program.” “It’s a great program, a great opportunity for the community,” said board member John Papalia, Sr. Crowley introduced the program’s faculty, including David DiMattio, professor of Astronomy and Physics. DiMattio told those in attendance that it’s his job as an administrator for the program to make sure the students enrolled are getting the classes they need. “Part of my job is to make sure we are offering the right type of courses,” DiMattio said. Tuesday’s presentation included a review of the program’s new website developed by “one-year alum” Paul Sherer. The website, which has yet to go online, “Basically covers anything you want to know,” Sherer said. The site covers tuition, what scholarships are available, a breakdown of class costs and testimonials from students from last year. It also has interviews with students and professors, a video created by a student about the Pine Grove facilities. Under the frequently asked question (FAQ) section, the website covers transferring credits, how the program is different than high school, etc. The site also covers classes offered, deadlines for adding and dropping courses, course descriptions and textbooks required. According to DiMattio, the website will go “live” within the next week, and will be linked to the university’s server. Dual Enrollment administrator Dr. John Sechriest gave a presentation regarding preparations that need to be made prior to the semester beginning, transportation issues, enrollment expenses and expectations for students. Sechriest said that the Warren County School District is continuing to support the students in the program by reimbursing them $160 per credit. The county’s Community Foundation is also providing some financial reimbursement. The final cost to students is approximately $180 per credit. Sechriest said that students, not parents, will receive the bill for their tuition. “And you have to trust them that they will share it with you,” he said. Sechriest stressed that students need to realize that learning methods are more accelerated and more expectations placed on the students in the university environment. “You’re going to be doing a lot more reading than you did at the high school level,” Sechriest said. “You’re digging more stuff out yourself, you’re coming to class more prepared.” Kelsey Angove, an Eisenhower student enrolled in her second year in the program, concurred. “It’s different because there’s less busy work,” Angove said. “The work you do is more intensive: reading, studying and a lot of papers. They say you should be spending two or three hours studying per hour of class.” Sechriest briefly discussed the program’s absenteeism policy, noting that the program does not run on the same schedule as the Warren County School District. “St. Bonaventure doesn’t have the same days off,” Sechriest said. “While the Warren County School District has the first day of deer season off, St. Bonaventure is running. Sechriest was asked about the program’s policy concerning snow days and two-hour delays. “If it’s a snow day or weather-related, we will be shut down here,” Sechriest said. He explained that two-hour delays result in the student’s buses not arriving until “around 10:30” – too late for the first scheduled classes, which begin at 10 a.m. “I will cut the first class, but the rest of the classes will be running at the same time.” Sechriest finished his presentation by saying that all 12 of the students who graduated from the program last year are now in colleges or universities. One student, Sechriest noted, Meghan Peirce, is studying Geology at Hartwick College in New York. “She’s going to study volcanoes in Hawaii in January,” Sechriest said, “which has to be pretty exciting for a student from Scandia.” The evening concluded with students receiving their class schedules for the semester, which was followed by a tour of the facilities given by Angove.

Article Photos

Times Observer photo by Dean Wells
Dual Enrollment tour
Eisenhower senior Kelsey Angove leads a tour of the St. Bonaventure dual enrollment facilities Thursday night. Angove is a second-year student of the program, which allows high school students to earn college credits while still attending school in the Warren County School District.



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