“Explore, Discover, and Create” is the mission at the Advanced Learning Center in Nebo School District.
The Advanced Learning Center, or ALC, offers college and career-readiness courses to high school students in Nebo School District. The ALC allows students to take college classes while being simultaneously enrolled in their resident high school.
The ALC offers both concurrent enrollment and Utah Valley University (UVU) live-interactive courses. Concurrent enrollment (CE) allows students to earn both college credit and high school credit concurrently. CE classes are taught face-to-face by university-approved high school professors using college curriculum. High school students may receive all or part of an associate degree through concurrent enrollment classes.
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UVU live-interactive courses are taught by UVU professors through a live broadcast to the ALC. There are over 25 UVU live-interactive courses offered, and it is necessary for students to take a UVU live-interactive course to complete an associate degree in high school.
Course categories offered at the ALC include aviation technology, building construction, business management, computer programming, criminal justice, information technology, digital media, elementary teacher education, health science, engineering and technology, and early college core classes.
The ALC started functioning in the fall 2012 and is starting its second year in its new Salem location. Over 1175 students are enrolled at the ALC.
Tanner Peterson, a first-year student at the ALC, said, “The ALC has a hands-on approach to learning, more than normal education. The ALC is specialized and specific. At your residential high school, when you are starting out, you take [classes] that are really general. When you come to the ALC, you really can do exactly what you want and what you are interested in.”
Emily Waite, a first-year student and Teacher’s Assistant at the ALC, loves the positive environment at the ALC. “Everybody here is so happy to be here; no one is ever negative. Everybody is so welcoming.”
Hayden Heaton, a third-year student at the ALC, said, “All of the high schools feed into the ALC. So, you get to meet a lot of new people. You get to meet new friends from everywhere. The teachers are fully involved, they love the students, the put in a lot of time and effort because they realize the students are here to learn.”
JT Nebeker is a third-year student at the ALC who will be graduating with his associates in Spring 2019. When asked what he likes about the ALC, JT responded, “The teachers really interact with the students. After many classes, I just talk to the teachers.” Everything the ALC offers is for the students. The ALC has a “flight simulator, tons of computers, laptops, TVs, and it is all for the students.”
CiCi Keetch, primarily a psychology teacher, has taught at the ALC since it opened. “It is exciting to see kids from different schools have the opportunity to learn with other kids who are college-bound, and to see that there is not one stereotype for being college-bound.” CiCi continued, “We try to give [students] the full college experience as far as deadlines and expectations, but at the same time, they are able to have a lot more discussion and a lot…more interaction than they would have on a college-level.”
Ronda Hair, a concurrent enrollment and CTE specialist at the ALC, is over the CAPS program, or the Center for Advanced Professional Studies. Being over CAPS, Ronda Hair provides students with professional opportunities relevant to their area of study. These professional opportunities include working with clients to create something deliverable, or granting students the opportunity to be mentored by professionals from the community.
Ben Ford, Principal at the Advanced Learning Center, encourages all students to come and see the ALC.
By taking courses at the ALC, students can save up to 98 percent of college tuition, explore college careers, attend advanced courses, and learn in a motivated, professional environment. In addition, the ALC accelerates education by offering both high school and college credit concurrently.
If a student is interested in taking classes at the Advanced Learning Center, they are strongly encouraged to talk to current high school counselor.