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Expanded Dual Credit Options Available for FCPS Students 

Superintendent Liggins (left) and BCTC's Koffi AkakpoStudents enrolled in Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) can earn college credit for free this summer under a significant expansion of dual credit opportunities unveiled by FCPS, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). “Every child who enters Fayette County Public Schools has unique strengths and talents, and our job as educators is to provide all students with the access and experiences they need to reach their unlimited potential,” said Superintendent Demetrus Liggins.

The initiative is made possible in part by a $3.5 million investment from the Fayette County Board of Education to increase postsecondary readiness for high school students. The funding supported the largest college and career fair the district has hosted, at Central Bank Center last fall. Juniors and seniors interacted with 78 colleges, all military branches, and 30 businesses, and received info and support about FAFSA and KEES. In January, all FCPS ninth graders attended a Career Expo where they connected with business and industry partners from across the Commonwealth. 

“Dual credit is an amazing opportunity for all students, and by investing more resources in postsecondary education and readiness, we are breaking down barriers that prevent some students from attaining a degree or pursuing career interests,” Liggins said in remarks prepared for the April 24 news conference. 

Beginning this summer, any FCPS high school student who wishes to take a course at BCTC for dual credit may do so free of cost. Additionally, a partnership with Eastern Kentucky University will allow rising juniors and seniors from FCPS to complete one dual-credit course for free and take other courses at a reduced cost.

FCPS officials believe covering the cost of a course will empower students to explore an area that fits their interests and help increase the number of students graduating with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or career certificate. “One size does not fit all, and we want more students to discover their path to success in career, college, and life,” Liggins said.

To support this effort, BCTC and FCPS have aligned their Career and Technical Education (CTE) and general education pathways, which will allow more students to graduate with diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees. Students who earn 12 or more dual credit hours from BCTC while in high school, with a cumulative course GPA of 2.5, and choose to continue their full-time education at BCTC will receive the dual credit tuition rate (50% reduction) to complete their associate degree. 

Aaron Baker“I applaud Dr. Liggins, Fayette County Public Schools, and Dr. Rebecca Simms for working so hard to create this opportunity that will allow more local students to earn college credits while still in high school,” said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, BCTC’s president and CEO. “This will not only permit these students to get a head start on their college credentials but also expose them to the college experience.”

Aaron Baker, associate director of dual credit and transition services at Eastern, also spoke at the news conference. “Partnerships like these demonstrate EKU’s commitment to being a school of opportunity, and it is our goal that FCPS students will see firsthand what the Eastern experience is all about," he said. 

Dual credit allows high school students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. Currently, FCPS students can enroll in over 200 dual credit courses with eight different public colleges and universities. We were the first district to partner with Transylvania University, a top-ranked private liberal arts college in Lexington, for dual credit.

At the news conference, students from our STEAM Academy and Opportunity Middle College (OMC) shared how dual credit has affected their career interests and futures.

Isaiah Cruz  Joyner Jikang  Megan BullockMegan Bullock, a senior at STEAM, plans to become a chiropractor, which requires eight years of postsecondary studies. “I feel a lot more prepared going into college,” she said, adding, “Cutting these two years (at BCTC) will allow me to get into my field quicker.” Fellow senior Joyner Jikang of OMC also has a long road ahead through medical school. The dual credit courses have helped her learn to manage a stressful load and manager her time. “The teachers at BCTS have been really helpful in my finding a path,” Joyner said. OMC junior Isaiah Cruz also cited the variety of courses available. “The staff are extremely accommodating and truly care about you succeeding,” he said.

Liggins noted that dual credit classes are available to any eligible FCPS high school student; they do not need to attend a special program to enroll. While some classes are available remotely, district leaders are working on solutions around transportation and other barriers that might prevent a student from attending classes on BCTC’s campus. 

In addition, FCPS will cover the cost for interested teachers to become dual-credit certified through the district’s Grow Your Own program. “We know that investing in our educators and staff is an investment in our students,” Liggins said.

FCPS students and families can learn more about dual credit enrollment, summer course offerings, and scholarship opportunities at or consult with their high school guidance counselors.

Posted April 24, 2023