Start College Now Program

Appleton Area School District high school students in 11th or 12th grade who meet the eligibility requirements defined in applicable State Statutes, regulations, and District policies, and who submit timely and complete applications and notices, may be permitted to enroll in one or more courses at a Wisconsin Technical College through the Start College Now technical college course program.

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) or an Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction (ACI) administrative-level designee shall be responsible for (1) ensuring that the District appropriately processes requests/applications related to the Start College Now technical college course program; and (2) except for refusal of permission to take a course that is based on an undue financial burden, determine whether the District will approve individual applications, and pay for specific courses based on the criteria established in State law, any applicable State regulations, and applicable District policies and procedures.

The authority of the program administrator(s) includes, but is not limited to, the authority to make or approve the following determinations on behalf of the District:

1. Whether a student meets the minimum eligibility criteria established in State law;
2. Whether a proposed course is comparable to a course already offered in the District;
3. Whether the student will be eligible to receive high school credit for the successful completion of a proposed course; and
4. Whether the proposed course and any resulting credit meets any of the District’s high school graduation requirements.

The District may refuse to allow a student with a disability to attend a technical college through the Start College Now technical college course program if the costs related to any special services required for the student would impose an undue financial burden on the District. The determination of an undue financial burden shall be made by the Assistant Superintendent of Pupil/Student Services.

Responsibility for Costs; Limitations on District Payments

To the extent required by State law, the District shall pay the costs associated with students’ enrollment in a technical college under this policy if the course is taken for high school credit and the course is not comparable to a course offered in the District. Limitations on the District’s responsibility for payment include the following:

1. The District shall pay only such tuition, fees, and course material costs as are required by law. If the District is required to pay the technical college for the cost of book(s) or similar resource(s) that is not a one-time use item(s), the student shall be required to return the resource(s) to the District upon completion of the course.

2. The District shall pay for no more than the equivalent of a combined total of 18 post-secondary semester credits per student for any courses that are taken through the Start College Now technical college course program or the Early College Credit Program. Courses that the District paid for under the former Youth or Course Options Programs count toward this credit limit. However, the limitation on 18 District paid credits does not prohibit a student from (1) taking other courses through a technical college where the District has authorized the coursework under a separate program or separate source of authority; or (2) taking other high school courses offered by the District that may result in eligibility for post-secondary credit(s).

3. The District shall only pay for courses that are successfully completed. If a student receives a failing grade in a course or fails to complete the course, the student’s parent or guardian or the student, if an adult, is responsible for reimbursing the District for the tuition, fees, and other costs paid by the District. If this reimbursement is not made upon request, the student is ineligible for any further participation in the Start College Now technical college course program and the Early College Credit Program.

4. Unless otherwise required by law, the District is not responsible for providing transportation to technical college courses taken under this policy nor paying for transportation-related costs.

Good Academic Standing

Solely for purposes of determining a student’s eligibility to enroll in a course at a technical college under this policy, “good academic standing” in the District means that the student has a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 2.0 at the time of the determination.

Course Comparability

For purposes of determining whether a course that a student wishes to take through the Start College Now technical college course program is comparable to a course offered by the District, and pending the development of any new State regulations applicable to the Start College Now technical college course program or the adoption of other specific local standards for determining course comparability, the District shall apply the standards found in PI 40.07(1m) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, as such standards were in effect as of December 31, 2017.

Reconsideration and Appeals

A student or his/her parent or guardian may submit a written request to the District Administrator to reconsider a District decision related to a student’s participation in the Start College Now technical college course program, except for any decisions made directly by the Board.

In addition, if an applicant for the program disagrees with a District decision regarding comparability of courses or the satisfaction of high school graduation requirements, State law provides that the applicant may appeal the District’s decision to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction within 30 days after the District’s decision.