Barren County Middle College

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Barren County students are getting the opportunity to earn a year’s worth of college credit before graduating high school.

Middle College has been in the works for about two years but Barren County High School started the program last year.

Students can begin taking advance placement courses and duel credit courses as early as their sophomore year in high school. These classes will be taught at Barren County High School and provide both high school and college credits.

During the student’s senior year of high school they will get the chance to take college courses at WKU’s Glasgow campus, which is located next to the high school.

“It’s helped me not to waste my time as a senior because I know sometimes you’ll run around and walk the halls because you don’t have the hard classes that are required because you’ve already taken them,” said Jessica Shelton, a senior at Barren County High School.

She plans on going to the University of Alabama-Huntsville and majoring in engineering. When she begins her freshman year she will already have at least 12 college credit hours.

“It’s kind of helped me to work my way into college life. Sometimes when freshman are thrown in to that, it makes it harder but this way it helps you move you way in slowly,” Shelton said.

More than 75 students graduated last year with college credit. Jessica said this program is becoming very popular and many students are eager to get a head start in their college career.

“All my friends are in duel credit,” Shelton added.

No matter what college students choose to attend Barren County High School will make sure the credits they earned, transfer.

“A student will come in and ask to take a certain course and we’ll ask some questions and one of those questions will be, what college do you plan attending and based on that student's response, we’ll call the college and make sure the course they are taking is transferable,” Principal Keith Hale said.

Teachers hope this program will help students become more responsible and learn how to prioritize.

“They’ve got to learn to be responsible and turn in their work besides working and taking other classes,” teacher, Trina Richard said.

Principal Hale said there are rules and restrictions on who can participate in Middle College based on grades and behavior. He said the school will decide who can take college classes on an individual basis.

Students do have to pay to participate in Middle College but classes are about a third the cost of regular college classes.

Middle College costs $200 per class, compared to about $600 a class at a normal college campus.

For more information about Middle College, you can call 270-651-6315.