A new program in the Seminole County Public School system will soon allow students attending Crooms Academy to graduate high school with both their diploma and a college degree.
"I think it would probably be good for college and other opportunities in the future," said Myles Drayton, a Crooms Academy student.
Currently, students at all Seminole County High Schools can take college credits at Seminole State College. But starting next year, students at Crooms Academy can actually complete an Associate of Arts degree in Information Technology while still in high school.
"It's going to take a combination of duel enrollment and advanced placement," said Michael Blasewitz, Executive Director of Secondary Education with the Seminole County Public School district.
"Students will utilize the advanced placement and duel enrollment to satisfy the college end of it, while at the same time those courses also count for high school credits," he said.
Blasewitz says there's about 150 spots per freshman class. Students start off taking classes at Crooms, then eventually take some course on Seminole State's campus.
"Our incoming freshman will be able to do it in the same amount of time through proper scheduling," Blasewitz said. "They'll be able to do it in the same amount of time --7 periods a day for 4 years-- that any other student would spend in high school."
Administrators say the degree is completely free with savings close to $8,000, which is the normal cost of tuition fees in books for an AA degree at Seminole State College. Once students graduate, they can go on to complete their bachelor's degree at a different university.
"Families are going to save a great deal of money," Blasewitz said. "It is an accelerated program and so we're just excited to be able to offer it."
To be eligible for the program, students at other high schools would first have to first apply to Crooms Academy, which is a magnet school. Students at Crooms then apply for the program.