Hannibal students utilize distance learning for college preparation

Hannibal High School’s distance learning courses are offering students an alternative learning environment with the added perk of receiving college credit.

Karen Upcraft, high school distance learning coordinator, said several interactive video conferencing (IVC) and online classes the district has offered in collaboration with both Onondaga and Cayuga community colleges, have enabled HHS students to familiarize themselves with class enrollment, schedules, college textbooks, time management and other key factors in becoming a successful college student.

“I feel that it is important for a student to be able to try something to see if they want or are able to do it,” she said. “(Distance learning) enables this; it’s an important learning tool.”

Students who participate in those opportunities earn high school credit for course work while simultaneously earning three or four college credits per course. All classes are offered at no charge to HHS students, which helps decrease the financial burden of higher education.

The IVC and online courses follow both the CCC and OCC semesters and are arranged such that spring courses are a continuation of their fall counterparts. Sixteen IVC classes, such as American sign language and biology, are offered during the school year. Psychology, sociology, business communication and human communication are some of the online courses also offered. In total, there are 27 college course offerings at HHS.

Upcraft said the district prides itself on the diversity of courses offered and the flexibility of the program because it can “meet the individual student’s interests and needs.” The interactive experience has also afforded HHS students the opportunity to participate in discussions with other students who take the class outside of the district. Students also communicate any issues with the associated professor.

The successes of the HHS distance learning program have been remarkable, Upcraft said, as several HHS students who were enrolled in American sign language courses, for example, became interpreters.