Two more high schools sign IGA with Pima



Pima Community College is adding two new schools to its long list of dual-enrolled high schools: City High School and Canyon Rose Academy.

Dual enrollment is when high-schoolers can take a class at their high school that counts as both a college and a high school credit. It’s an alternative to Advanced Placement courses.

In order for a high school to offer college-level courses, its school district must sign an intergovernmental agreement, or IGA, with Pima. This allows Pima to count them as a part of its enrollment numbers and allows the high schools to provide the service free of charge.

“If the high school teacher is teaching the course, the teacher is being paid by the high school, the district is already paying that person so there’s no real cost to Pima,” said Thomas Kluding, the director of high school dual enrollment. “There is a loss to Pima because we do provide some additional services, but we see it as a benefit to the students or districts.”

Teachers of dual enrollment classes must have a master’s degree in the subject they are teaching and have 18 hours in their content area. Basically, the teachers must qualify as a Pima adjunct professor.

The school districts pay for much of the fees that typical Pima students would pay themselves. In some cases, the districts will pay for a Pima instructor to teach a course, along with all required materials. Pima even will pick up the cost of the Accuplacer tests that some courses require.

Not every high school in Tucson is able to participate in this program, however.

“It depends on their ability to qualify for the courses and their schedules and times,” Kluding said.

Currently, Kluding said Pima is working with over 35 public and charter schools.

City High School is close enough to Pima’s Downtown Campus that the school is sending students there to get dual enrollment credit along with one teacher who’s teaching Writing 101 inside the high school. City is paying the student’s tuition.

Pima is trying to expand its list of schools, Kluding said, adding that it’s in Pima’s strategic plan to bump up its numbers from 1,500 to 4,000 by 2020.