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A Jump Start on College Credits

A Jump Start on College Credits

After exploring several additional opportunities for our students to earn college credit, Holy Family Catholic High School made the decision to partner with St. Mary’s University’s Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC), beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

This groundbreaking program provides a unique opportunity for students to earn college credits before stepping onto a college campus. Until now, Holy Family students earned college credit by participating in PSEO or by the determination of their future college’s acceptance of Advanced Placement credits.

“We wanted to offer students an alternative to PSEO, one that provides a smoother transition to college and eliminates the constraints of scheduling and transportation. The PACC program does exactly that,” Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Dr. Melissa Livermore expressed, “This collaboration allows students to take college-level courses within the familiar and supportive environment of their high school.”

The Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC) was first made available in the 2022-2023 academic year to Holy Family College Writing and Advanced Placement Chemistry students. This year, seven Holy Family courses currently qualify for PACC credits: AP Calculus AB, College Writing, Speech, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP English, and AP Chemistry. 

For a course taught at Holy Family to qualify as a PACC credit, the teacher must hold a master’s degree in the content area or a master’s plus 18 credit hours in the content area. In addition, the course syllabus is submitted for review. Upon approval of the course and teacher’s qualification, students may opt into the PACC program by completing registration and paying for the course credits (at a considerably reduced credit hour fee). At the end of the term, teachers submit grades to St. Mary’s, which go onto the student’s college transcript. The credits can either be used at St. Mary’s University or applied by colleges as transfer credits.

Holy Family plans to continue to increase the number of courses eligible for PACC credits. Livermore said,” We plan to provide even more PACC options in the future. To do so, we are supporting the continuing education of our faculty to meet the requirements of being a PACC instructor.”

The PACC program has already significantly impacted Holy Family Catholic High School students. Holy Family courses at all levels prepare students for college success. However, students now have an additional pathway toward a head start on their college degrees in addition to the confidence developed through successfully navigating college-level coursework.

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