Eighth-grade students in Calaveras County can now go above and beyond in their learning, earning an AA degree before graduating high school.

According to a press release issued by the Calaveras County Office of Education (CCOE), San Joaquin Delta College is “now offering an Early College Pathway to ambitious eighth grade students in Calaveras County. Students who enroll in this 100% free and virtual program can complete an associate degree in math and science while earning their high school diploma.”

The program begins in the student’s freshman year of high school, and both student and parents receive support in the form of an assigned counselor. That counselor stays with the student throughout the entirety of the program, which lasts all four years of high school.

“This unique opportunity is available to all students in Calaveras County free of charge,” the release stated.

“We are now able to provide programs to students in Calaveras County that have traditionally only been available in more populated areas,” said Scott Nanik, CCOE’s superintendent of schools. “We want Calaveras students to have those same opportunities.”

The program will help families and students save on the cost of the first two years of college, and it will give students a head start in the job market or a four-year college, the release stated. The program is considered an extracurricular activity and shouldn’t take time away from student’s other commitments.

For more information and to join the interest list, students and parents should email calaveras

earlycollege@deltacollege.edu with their name, email, phone number and high school name. Interested families will be contacted about upcoming information sessions.

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