Shippensburg University has recently made alterations to a program that has been offered to high school students for years.
Ship Start is a dual enrollment program offered by SU to high school students who wish to earn credits at a reduced rate before coming to college. The plan has been around for more than 30 years, but the program was not very popular because of multiple factors. For one, the program was not very affordable for many families.
The students that primarily enrolled in the program were children of faculty members because of the price break for family members, according to Jennifer Haughie, the dean of admissions at SU.
Another reason the system did not get much attention was because it was not publicized well. The school did not reach out to students in nearby high schools about the program, so not many people registered, according to Haughie.
These factors contributed to Haughie deciding to revise the program and really starting to push it publicly. SU will now offer the program at a reduced rate of $100 a credit, in addition to approximately $50 in technology fees. This is a 64 percent decrease from standard prices for college students.
“Our mission clearly states that we are to serve our region,” Haughie said.
The program is designed to attract students who are excelling in high school to SU as early as possible. Ship Start gives students that extra challenge they might be looking for outside of high school. Haughie said AP classes can only do so much and college courses really give you the best experience to prepare for real college life.
The usual number of students to enroll in the program in a year is around 25–35, but Haughie’s goal is to get 100 students this year. She did not know if that would happen, but that would be a big improvement over past numbers. The average number has already been passed, so the only direction to go is up.
As of April 4, there were more than 50 applicants for the program. Michele Dubbs, a guidance counselor at Shippensburg Area High School, said there are currently 37 students at her school that have expressed interest in Ship Start.
The new regulations and resolutions will be effective this summer and will continue into the fall and spring semesters.
Ship Start is primarily publicized to nearby counties like Franklin and Cumberland Counties, but the program is open to any high school student in the country. Haughie said the university is expecting primarily students from Pennsylvania to register, since it would cost more for out-of-state students to enroll.
“We’ve heard from students who were maybe going to go somewhere else, but then heard of our reduced rates,” Haughie said.