CREAM Classes Give High Schoolers Leg Up for College

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High School students now have another way to get ahead before they hit their college campus.

Time and money aren’t things college students can afford to lose.

“It’s really beneficial to be able to test out of classes even if you have a low ACT score,” Lillyanna Lepp, Bismarck State College, freshman says.

Some students need a little extra help in classes like Math and English before graduation, and now, they have it.

“When they take the ACT test they have a benchmark score they have to get which is a 21 in math and an 18 in English. And if they don’t get those scores there’s a good chance they’re going to have to take a remedial class in college,” David Wisthoff, Bismarck High School, principal says.

Before students end up at their college of choice, they’re getting another opportunity to save time and money.

College readiness English and math, or CREAM classes, are providing high schoolers the chance to pass a test and pass up extra hours and dollars on higher ed.

“By them taking a remedial class it could back them up about a year to place them into their college levels,” Marla Hagemeister, Bismarck State College, alternative learning coordinator says.

And gives them the tools to get there.

“It helps them build the skills they need to be successful when they get into that math and English class in college,” Wisthoff says.

And being ready, this student says, makes all the difference in the long run.

“Do it while it’s free; do it while it’s cheap, honestly,” Lepp says. 

And passing a test could help shorten their path on the way to that degree.

Since 2015, the legislature has funded CREAM classes for North Dakota students at no cost.

And if students pass, all 11 schools within the North Dakota University system allow them to skip remedial classes once enrolled in college.

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