USD 305 students can now earn an associate degree during high school from K-State Polytechnic
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021
Kansas State Polytechnic and Salina USD 305 have signed a partnership to create the PolyCATS Academy for USD 305 high school students. From left are Curtis Stevens, USD 305 director of secondary education; Linn Exline, USD 305 superintendent; Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean of K-State Polytechnic; and Terri Gaeddert, associate dean for academics and student success, K-State Polytechnic. | Download this photo.
SALINA — Kansas State University's Polytechnic Campus and Salina USD 305 have partnered to create the new Polytechnic Center for Applied Technology Studies.
This academy provides an opportunity for eligible high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials, receive college credit for general education requirements and complete dual credits for an associate degree during high school. The PolyCATS Academy will also foster strong community partnerships with businesses, community organizations and educational organizations.
K-State Polytechnic currently partners with USD 305 to offer Computing Principles, a blended credit class, at both Central High School and South High School. The course is team-taught with a USD 305 teacher and K-State faculty. Collaboration efforts also include 36 dual-credit elective offerings taught by K-State faculty.
"Kansas State University is committed to innovation in education while serving the communities in our state," said Terri Gaeddert, associate dean for academics and student success at K-State Polytechnic. "The PolyCATS Academy is an exciting new initiative that brings important stakeholders together to support the needs of our region in a collaborative manner. Students will benefit. Public schools will benefit. Businesses will benefit. This is a win-win-win approach to ensuring the needs of our workforce are met, both now and in the future."
The PolyCATS Academy will allow students to enroll in classes and receive credit from both USD 305 and K-State. Dual-credit electives will also expand from 36 to 102 courses. By the time they graduate from high school, students will have an opportunity to earn an associate degree in aviation, business or engineering technology. Other student advantages include discounted tuition rates, transitional support to college and career, networking with area employers, a collegiate connection while in high school and connections to the workforce.
USD 305 educators will benefit from the PolyCATS Academy through opportunities to work in concert with college professors, develop a greater depth of knowledge in their content areas, engage in networking opportunities and grow professionally by teaching college-level courses.
"This partnership greatly expands the choices for USD 305 students to have a post-secondary experience while still in high school," said Linn Exline, superintendent of USD 305. "The opportunity to earn college credits and an associate degree are key experiences on their road map that leads to success beyond graduation."
To learn more about the PolyCATS Academy at K-State Polytechnic Campus, contact the Office of Admissions at 785-826-2640 or email@example.com, or the high school counseling departments at Central High School, 785-309-3636, or South High School, 785-309-3715.