BSM looks to add college in the schools in the future


Brook Wenande

BSM looks to incorporate college level courses in the school.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s is a college preparatory school, which means that students are prepared for college by combining ACT preparation and AP coursework into the school’s curriculum. Principal Stephanie Nitchals has proposed a new initiative called College In The Schools that will give students an additional opportunity to earn college credit in high school through the University of Minnesota.

Being a college prep school, it’s important that BSM gives students a preview of what college classes will be like to make their transitions easier. “College in the Schools is a program through the U of M and it gives high school students the opportunity to earn U of M credit while taking classes here at BSM,” Nitchals said.

College in the Schools not only helps students prepare for college, but it also benefits them once they’re there. This will help lower the amount of money that students will have to pay at universities. “If you can get dual credit, whether it be through AP or through this program, you have to take fewer classes in college…and also you often get out of some of the entry-level classes to take more classes that you’re interested in,” Nitchals said.

Not only will the College in the Schools classes take place during students’ regularly allotted bell schedules, but the classes will also be taught by familiar faces. “It will just be like any other class that you take. It will be scheduled and teachers here will be teaching it,” Nitchals said.

College In The School may appear to be similar to AP classes, but there is one main difference. Students are 100% guaranteed college credit. “This is a direct one-to-one college credit, so this will be a transfer credit straight from the college as opposed to needing a certain score in order to get credit. So in College In The Schools there is no test at the end, so just by taking it and getting a passing grade, you get the credit,” Nitchals said.

These classes will only be taught by BSM teachers who have master’s degrees in education which requires 18 credits in their specific subjects to be able to teach with masters. “We actually already have lots of teachers who have masters degrees…we are looking at ways to help [the teachers] who are close to getting those additional 18 credits,” Nitchals said.

One of Principal Nitchal’s goals is to provide students with a variety of opportunities. “I really believe in giving kids a lot of opportunities to try a lot of different things, this is just one more opportunity to try something different,” Nitchals said.