Knox County Schools partner with EKU to offer ‘early college’ to students

Opportunities for Knox County students to become college ready and earn credit while still in high school continue to increase thanks to a new partnership with Eastern Kentucky University.

The Knox County Board of Education has entered into a partnership agreement with EKU to begin an early college program for rising freshmen through seniors at Knox Central and Lynn Camp high schools during the 2014-2015 school year.  

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The early college partnership will allow students to take classes during the school day through on-site classes at Eastern Kentucky University’s Corbin campus and virtual online learning.  The classes would count as credit at the high school, satisfying graduation requirements, while earning the student college credit that could be used at EKU or transferred to another post-secondary institution.

“We are excited to begin a relationship with Eastern Kentucky University and look forward to working with them on offering college classes and awareness opportunities for our students,” said Kelly Sprinkles, Superintendent of the Knox County Public Schools.

The agreement with EKU allows for twenty four juniors and seniors to earn up to six hours per semester during the upcoming year.  Freshmen and sophomores would begin taking classes in the Spring 2015 semester.  Tuition, books, and transportation during designated class times is provided to students who are admitted into the program.  The agreement also provides students with unique opportunities including access to advisors and tutors, tours of the Richmond campus, and access to materials and resources to help supplement the college readiness efforts at both high schools.

The partnership is similar to an existing agreement with Union College which the school district signed last spring.   Knox currently has agreements in place with Southeast Community and Technical, Union College, and now Eastern Kentucky University.

“We are unaware of any other school district in southeast Kentucky or of our size that offers its students the opportunity to benefit from community, private, and public higher education,” stated Sprinkles.

“Our dual credit programs are not only challenging students to prepare for college coursework, but awarding them credit and giving them an extra boost before they graduate from us and walk on the college campus.

“We have had a great response to our college offerings from Southeast and Union, and this partnership will allow even more students the opportunity to earn dual credit and develop study skills and habits that are necessary for college.”

Informational meetings have been scheduled for students and parents who are interested in participating in the Knox County/EKU Early College Program.   A meeting will be held at EKU Corbin on Thursday, April 17, at 6pm and a second meeting will be held on Monday, April 21, 6pm, at the Knox County Board of Education Annex in Barbourville.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 2nd from rising juniors and seniors at both high schools.  Interested students who will be a freshman or sophomore next school year may attend one of the meetings, however, their applications will not be accepted until fall.    The official application and additional information will be available at the meeting and on the KCPS website ( beginning Monday, April 14.