New KCC program offers free classes for HS seniors



KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A new Klamath Basin program will help students get a jump start on college. Klamath Community College announced the program Wednesday where qualifying high school seniors can earn a full year of college courses at no charge.

The program teams up with the Klamath Falls City Schools and Klamath County School District and students will have no cost for college tuition, fees and textbooks. Regular meetings with an academic advisor and completing their high school diploma by the end of their senior year are some of the program requirements.

“This is an amazing opportunity for students,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez in a release. “For the college and the school districts to partner to be able to offer an entire year of college courses at no charge to the student indicates how committed we all are to student success.”

According to Dr. Gutierrez, the Advanced Diploma students will be included in a cohort, as they will all have a common advisor and take a common course together during their first term. “Research indicates that students who take part in these types of programs have higher rates of completion and are more likely to transfer to four-year institutions,” he said.

Participants in the program must be assigned to a KCC degree program and will complete an academic plan that will guide advising efforts throughout the year. Advanced Diploma students will be in the same classes and have all of the same rights and responsibilities of other KCC students.

“We feel very strongly that students who are given the resources will inevitably succeed at the college level. This program allows us to give them those resources,” Dr. Gutierrez said. “It is not only a good thing for the students and their parents, but is good for taxpayers as well. As the latest economic impact report for KCC shows, the more education and training that the workforce has, the less likely they are to require social benefits and the more they contribute to the tax base over their careers.”

Klamath Falls City School District Superintended Paul Hillyer and Klamath County School District Superintendent Greg Thede are excited by the prospects that the Advanced Diploma partnership offers as well. The program will provide a springboard for many students who likely would not have taken a college class to pursue higher education, they agreed.