KU dual agreement signing

Back Row: Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, KU President; Dr. Anne Zayaitz, KU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Front Row: Stephen Herman, Principal of Fleetwood Area High School; Andrew Potteiger, Superintendent of Brandywine Heights Area School District; and Jeffrey Boyer, Superintendent of Antietam School District.

Kutztown University signed five-year dual enrollment agreements with Antietam, Brandywine Heights and Fleetwood area school districts on June 20.

KU President Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Zayaitz signed the agreements with Antietam Superintendent Jeffrey Boyer, Brandywine Heights Superintendent Andrew Potteiger and Fleetwood Area High School Principal Stephen Herman.

"We're very excited about these agreements, as they will give participating students a head-start, maybe even a jump start, into college,” said Hawkinson.

The agreements will allow select students from each school district to enroll in off-campus courses as non-degree students at KU. School districts will provide the documentation necessary for enrollment without cost, including a high school transcript and a letter from a guidance counselor attesting to the suitability of each course, while each selected student will be responsible for applying for non-degree status. The agreements will also allow select students to enroll in on-campus courses during both the academic year and the summer as non-degree students on a space-available basis.

Hawkinson spoke of the role of higher education in changing the lives of young people. “Colleges were created to awaken young people, to challenge their minds, to alert them to the possibilities that exist before them,” he said. “Finally after the awakening, making our students curious and helping in the development of a strong character, we must then instill a gratefulness and humility that for our students will lead to an educated mind, an enlightened soul and a life fulfilled. These are the values of Kutztown University and I know that these are the values that you instill in your students at our area high schools.”

KU will provide the districts' students with a reduced tuition rate for both off¬-campus and on-campus enrollment. Students will be responsible for the balance of tuition and fees.

In addition, students registered as non-degree students at KU under these agreements will have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as other non-degree students, including the right to a student I.D., use of the library and other academic resources. All KU policies and procedures including, but not limited to, academic policies and student discipline policies apply.

“Thank you so much for making this happen here in Berks County,” said Boyer. “This is one of the first state schools that have really jumped onboard with this type of program, this type of idea, to make it affordable for parents and for students. This gives them that opportunity to have that first step into college and see if it’s for them.”

Potteiger thanked KU for its forward-thinking approach to partnering with local school districts.

“As education partners, we share a common goal of ensuring students are receiving rich, educational experiences that complement their abilities and help foster excitement and eagerness to learn,” said Potteiger. “By opening the doors to the University, you’ve unleashed so many possibilities for students to explore academically, gain college credit in high school, and springboard them into future success.”

“Our ultimate goal for our students is that every door is open for them when they graduate from high school. Our idea is to provide every opportunity in order for them to make an educated decision about what their future looks like and what works for them. The fact that the University has reached out to us to provide just one more opportunity for students to experience to make an educated decision about their future, we’re very grateful,” said Herman.

Zayaitz explained that the concept originated during a conversation with Kutztown Superintendent George Fiore, who noted the number of Kutztown students who have parents that work at KU and are eligible for reduced KU tuition. To broaden more educational opportunities for local high schoolers, the concept developed into dual enrollment agreements with local school districts. KU signed a dual enrollment with Kutztown School District in December 2018.

“For me, it’s about social justice, making the opportunity affordable for as many people as possible,” she said. “Education is the one thing nobody can take away from you, so it’s incredibly valuable.”

Zayaitz hopes the agreement can be expanded to other Berks school districts. She believes this is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to take a college course, decide if college is what they want to do, and find a major.

“It’s just that opportunity for students to have something beyond what is laid out there for them at an affordable price for their families. It’s 25 percent of tuition and without any fees,” she said. “It’s dual enrollment, which means they can use (credits) toward their high school and college. They’ll be able to transfer those (credits) no matter where they go.”

KU’s current enrollment consists of about 8,300 students from 29 states and 33 nations.

"From our prominence in the arts, to our AACSB-accredited business school, to our excellence in the sciences, our comprehensive teacher-education program, our progressive general education and the strength of all of our programs, Kutztown University truly has an area of study for nearly everyone," Hawkinson said.

For more information about the new partnership, visit the KU Admissions website or call Jim Garraway, assistant director of Admissions, at 610-683-4060.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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