New program will allow Custer High students to earn free college credits

Miles Community College will launch a free dual enrollment pilot program for Custer County District High School and Sidney High School. 

The three-year pilot program, which will begin this fall, was revealed to the Miles Community College board at its meeting Monday by Jessie Dufner, MCC’s vice president of enrollment and student success.

In the past, MCC offered dual enrollment for $50 per credit with tuition waved. Now through the pilot program junior and senior students from the two high schools will be able to take those classes for free.

“Miles Community College has developed an enrollment initiative to support the three-year pilot program and will be applying scholarship dollars and waivers to the tuition and fees,” said Dufner. 

According to Garth Sleight, associate dean of academic affairs at MCC, CCDHS offered seven dual enrollment or concurrent classes last year. He said he expects it will be close to the same for this coming school year.

“This gives students the opportunity to take college classes before actually going to college,” said Sleight.

The classes are approved high school classes that are taught by high school teachers that have been vetted by the college to align with the college course. 

Other schools in the region that work with MCC for dual enrollment classes will still pay the $50 per credit fee. 

According to Dufner, MCC has been working closely with CCDHS Principal Beez Lucero, who is reportedly excited about the program. 

For more information about the pilot program students can visit with high school teachers who are instructing dual enrollment classes or call MCC at (406) 874-6101.

Following the pilot program announcement, Lisa Smith, vice president of administrative services, announced that the construction of the Ag Advancement Center has begun, the INTERCAP loan of  $480,000 for the Ag Center was approved and the increased Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for the armory has been approved.

According to Smith, contractors should be in the armory in the next few weeks to conduct a walk-through of the building. 

“This phase will be to remediate the environmental issues that were identified,” said Smith.

The Ag Center arrived and construction began on Aug. 15. 

The next meeting of the MCC board will be held on Monday, Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m