Pilot program allows seniors to take college courses at PNW


Seniors Cheri Michalek and Addison Cipowski work together on a lab in their DC biology class.

Melissa Carlos, Staff Reporter

Beginning in January, Bishop Noll is offering a small group of seniors the opportunity to take college classes at Purdue Northwest during the afternoons.

Wanting to grant her students greater college opportunities, Mrs. Lorenza Jara-Pastrick, principal, took on the opportunity from Purdue to grant her students college credits.

“We don’t offer our students the opportunity to graduate early so we’ll give them a head start to college,” Pastrick says.

The program, which is being piloted in January, will allow 22 Bishop Noll seniors the opportunity to travel to Purdue Northwest in Hammond during the afternoons to take one or two classes on campus. Bishop Noll currently offers 23 honors, AP, ACP, and DC classes. The Purdue program classes, however, will be different from what is already offered at the school. The classes will not disrupt any of the current classes offered at Noll.

Some of the classes that students can choose from at PNC include Intro to Social Work, Speech and Communications, Spanish classes, Composition 1&2, French level 1, Intro Modern World History, Trigonometry, Intro to Philosophy, Elementary Statistical Methods and many more.

This year, though, there will be a limit to how many classes Bishop Noll seniors can take at PNC.

“Over the summer we will sit down and re-evaluate everything to see if students would be able to take more,” says senior counselor Mr. Kevin Smith. “We are suggesting that students only take one or two classes maximum.”

Classes will take place either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday 2-3:15.

“This year, the cost will either be $25 per credit hour, or we are trying to find funding to allow the students to take these classes for free, Smith says.h. “The maximum a student would pay would be $25 per credit hour.”

Classes were offered to 50 students based off of their GPA; currently 22 students have agreed to participate in the program.

Smith believes that the program will continue to grow in the years to come.

“The plan is to expand the program to offer more classes to students, and to get more students involved,” he says.

The 22 seniors who are participating are anxious to sit in their classes on a college campus. “

I’m excited to be able to have the chance to see how college is, and how college classes work.”

— Anaiz Espinosa

,” said senior Anaiz Espinoza.

Senior Romeo Casiano said that the best thing about this opportunity is, “being able to take advantage of the opportunity and get an understanding of what college courses are like.”

While many students are already logging in many college credits at Bishop Noll, this opportunity will give them the option of adding even more to their transcript–and allow more colleges and universities nationally to accept the credit hours.

Although, many Bishop Noll students attend Purdue or one of its commuter campuses. Out of last year’s graduating class of 2021, 22% now attend Purdue Northwest in Hammond.

“This class will help benefit my future career because it will help me complete a college credit while still in high school,” said senior Octavio Bautista. “Taking this class will not only save me time, but money as well.”