High school students can meet Arkansas’ new digital learning requirement and earn college credit at the same time through an offering of NorthWest Arkansas Community College.
NWACC was one of 23 organizations recently designated as a digital learning approved provider by the Arkansas Department of Education. The development of the approved provider list follows the Arkansas General Assembly’s passage in 2013 of Act 1280. The legislation sought to expand digital learning opportunities to all Arkansas public school students and to remove any barriers to digital learning.
Under the legislation, all public school districts and public charter schools shall provide at least one digital learning course to their students as either a primary or supplementary method of instruction. Starting with the ninth grade class of the 2014-15 school year, each high school student shall be required to take at least one digital learning course for credit to graduate.
Through NWACC’s Early College Experience program, qualified high school students can take college classes online that are coordinated through the student’s high school or by registering through the NWACC’s admissions office.
To qualify to take online courses, high school students must demonstrate the ability to work at a college level through placement test scores such as ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT or EXPLORE. The cutoff scores are determined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the college.
General education courses, including English, math, science and history, that count toward an associate’s degree are available online. In addition, a few career and technical courses are available to students in areas such as hospitality management and occupational safety and health.
NWACC is the only college in Benton and Washington counties on the approved provider list. The Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art also are among the approved providers in the region.
More information on this and other NWACC programs is available online.