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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: JUNE 4, 2009


Students Earn Free College Credit through E-Learning

More students than ever are logging onto Learn and Earn Online to earn free college credit according to new data presented to State Board of Education members. In spring 2009, North Carolina high school students registered for a total of 5,429 college-level courses through Learn and Earn Online. This number represents a significant increase from the 1,421 classes students registered for at the inception of the program in the fall of 2007.

"Learn and Earn Online enables thousands of students to start their college education at no cost while they are still in high school," said State Board of Education Chairman and CEO Bill Harrison. "But more than that, this program is about access and making sure every student in North Carolina, regardless of where their parents live, has a chance to jumpstart their future by taking high-level academic courses with quality teachers and quality content."

"Learn and Earn Online is a perfect example of how our state is leading the nation in using the latest technology to create 21st century learning opportunities to better prepare all high school graduates for college and a career," said State Superintendent June Atkinson.

Learn and Earn Online enables high school students across the state to register for online college-level courses through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro iSchool and participating colleges in the North Carolina Community College System. Hundreds of different courses in language, music, politics, sociology and other subjects are currently available. In most cases, students can earn high school and free college credit by completing one online course. Classes are offered for students to take during school with an on-site course facilitator or at home. There are prerequisites for some classes so students should check with their school counselors for program specifics.

The UNCG iSchool recently reported that their enrollment in Learn and Earn Online courses grew from 1,025 course registrations in fall 2007 to 3,293 in spring 2009. Enrollment in courses through the N.C. Community College System grew from 396 to 2,136 course registrations during the same two years. The N.C. Community College System also offers summer school courses through Learn and Earn Online. Enrollment in these courses is expected to increase this year as well.

Many high school teachers and administrators agree that Learn and Earn Online provides a valuable opportunity for students.

"Our high school is so small that we could never get enough students together in a traditional classroom setting to offer the type of specialized courses that really broadens the high school experience," said Concord High School Y.E.S. (Youth Experiencing Success) Center Coordinator and UNC-Greensboro iSchool Course Facilitator Janie Dickson. "The flexibility, freedom and free college credit Learn and Earn Online courses provide creates an unbelievable opportunity for our young people."

Students also say they have gained more than free credit through their e-learning experience.

"I took the online course to get out of the regular classroom setting, but because we do not have that much time to complete each assignment, I have developed time management skills, study skills and self-discipline that will help me in college," said Dustin Johnson, a senior at Concord High School.

For more information on Learn and Earn Online, visit or contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.