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Pioneer Express

Pioneer Express

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Free 2 Explore
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Pioneer Express Spring
2019 Course Offerings
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2019 Course Offerings


  Early college opportunities for High School Students


Miles Community College offers a number of opportunities for students to earn college credits while still enrolled in high school. Through these "dual enrollment" classes, students earn college credit, and may even simultaneously earn high school credit at the same time. Dual enrollment courses are a great way to explore college major options, and start on a college degree while still in high school, saving money and accelerating the time to degree completion.

MCC offers two distinct kinds of dual enrollment classes - Pioneer Express classes, and concurrent enrollment classes.

New this year! Our Free 2 Explore program offers two free dual enrollment courses to all eligible Montana high school students.



    Our college credit-only dual enrollment classes, offered on-campus at MCC or online, are offered under the heading "Pioneer Express". In the past, you may have heard MCC's program for high school students referred to as "Jump Start" - the Pioneer Express Program provides similar opportunities for Montana high school students. Any Montana high school students can enroll in a Pioneer Express course, provided they meet enrollment eligibility and prerequisite requirements. Students must complete a Pioneer Express application and registration form each term they want to take classes. Semester course offerings are published each term.


    The Pioneer Express Program provides a great opportunity for early access to college. Students have the ability to save both time and money as they work to achieve their educational goals.


    Students may apply to be a part of the Pioneer Express Program as early as the summer after their sophomore year of high school. Students under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to apply for the program and register for MCC courses. Students requiring release time from their usual school day for an on-campus or ITV class should also have the permission of a counselor or administrator at their high school.


    You'll need to complete the Pioneer Express Application and Registration Form each semester that you want to take classes. If you've not already taken the ACT, you'll be required to take the ACCUPLACER placement test, which will help us determine your readiness for college-level work. Depending on your scores on the ACCUPLACER placement test, we will visit with you about any remediation needs and the potential to complete the courses you're requesting. If you are a second semester senior or recent graduate, we can also use your high school GPA for placement in lieu of an ACCUPLACER test.


    Students in the Pioneer Express Program can choose from a wide variety of college-level courses. Most of the courses offered are considered "general education" classes, and will transfer well no matter where the student plans to continue his or her education. Students can select elective or major-specific coursework as available, and should do so with the assistance of their high school guidance counselor or our staff.


    Once your application and registration form is submitted with all necessary signatures and your high school transcript and placement scores, you'll be enrolled in the course by our office. You'll receive a confirmation email that includes your student ID number and additional instructions. If you're taking an online class, you'll also get an email from the Distance Education office with instructions on accessing your course in Canvas, our online learning management system. Finally, you'll be sent a bill for any charges owed.


    As a part of our Free 2 Explore Program, your first two dual enrollment classes will be free. If you're also taking concurrent enrollment classes (taught at the high school), these also count towards your two course total, unless you are enrolled at CCDHS or Sidney High School. After you've taken your first two free courses through Free 2 Explore, you'll still receive a significant discount. Tuition is waived for all other classes, but students are responsible for the cost of mandatory fees, course fees and online fees, and textbooks (where applicable). These equals a savings of 60-70% off the full price of a college course.


    Federal financial aid is available beginning the summer after the student graduates from high school. Students enrolled in high school are not eligible for financial aid, which is why we've chosen to waive tuition for the classes taken while still in high school.


    Only Pioneer Express credits count towards Pioneer Promise eligibility. Concurrent enrollment credits do not.

    Students who pass at least six credits from MCC through Pioneer Express will be automatically eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to MCC if they enroll at MCC as a degree-seeking student after high school graduation. We call this scholarship our "Pioneer Promise" scholarship-it's our promise to help make college degree attainment affordable for Montana high school students!

    Only Pioneer Express courses (MCC online or on-campus classes) will count for eligibility. Credits earned through concurrent enrollment (those courses taught at the high school) will not count towards the six credits of eligibility for the Pioneer Promise Scholarship. Students must earn at least a C or better in their MCC Pioneer Express courses to be eligible. The scholarship will be awarded as $500 per semester for their first year of degree-seeking enrollment, provided students maintain good academic standing while enrolled at MCC (2.0 semester GPA).


    Not sure if this program is right for you? Here are a few things to discuss with your high school counselor and parent or guardian prior to enrolling in the Pioneer Express Program.
    • Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the MCC campus.
    • The MCC academic calendar starts and ends at different dates and has different holidays than the CCDHS calendar. Students are expected to attend MCC courses even if the high school is not in session for a particular day.
    • Tuition is waived while students are still enrolled in high school, but students are responsible for the cost of mandatory fees, course fees, and textbooks.
    • Enrolling in college courses is a commitment of your time and energy! Please consider whether enrolling in college courses is a realistic option based on your extracurricular activities and family schedules.
    • Grades earned through the program are part of your permanent academic record at MCC, and will follow you should you transfer to another college or university.


    "Concurrent enrollment" courses are those courses, taught at partner high schools, for which students can simultaneously earn high school credit and college credit. For these courses to be offered, they must be pre-approved and agreed to by a special agreement signed by both the college and high school administration. Student enrollment requires permission of appropriate high school personnel, and is limited to high school juniors and seniors. Please contact our office, or your guidance counselor, for more information.


    The Pioneer Express Program provides a great opportunity for early access to college. Students have the ability to save both time and money as they work to achieve their educational goals.


    For these courses to be offered, they must be pre-approved and agreed to by a special agreement signed by both the college and high school administration. Student enrollment requires permission of appropriate high school personnel, and is limited to high school juniors and seniors.

    MCC currently has concurrent enrollment agreements with the following high schools:
    • Custer County District High School
    • Baker High School
    • Colstrip High School
    • Fairview High School
    • Forsyth High School
    • Nashua High School
    • Powder River Co. High School
    • Sidney High School
    • St. Labre High School


    If you're a student at one of the schools listed above, your high school has been given specific forms to use for concurrent enrollment. Please see your high school guidance counselor or concurrent enrollment course instructor.


    The courses available vary by school and are specified each year in the school-specific registration forms.


    Once your application and registration form is submitted with all necessary signatures and your high school transcript and placement scores, you'll be enrolled in the course by our office. You'll receive a confirmation email that includes your student ID number and additional instructions. If you're taking an online class, you'll also get an email from the Distance Education office with instructions on accessing your course in Canvas, our online learning management system. Finally, you'll be sent a bill for any charges owed.


    If you are only taking concurrent enrollment courses, your first two courses are 100% free through the Free 2 Explore program. Free 2 Explore eligibility also applies to Pioneer Express classes, and many students take advantage of both options - keep in mind, however, that the two class limit is a one time limit, and any dual enrollment course you take is included. For any courses taken after your first two Free 2 Explore classes, you'll be charged only fees for your course. The current rate is $54/credit for mandatory fees. Online and course fee rates vary by course.

    Please note that the Free 2 Explore limit for concurrent enrollment courses does not apply to CCDHS and Sidney High School. Free 2 Explore eligibility can be shifted to Pioneer Express classes for those schools, as they are still a part of an existing pilot project for free concurrent enrollment for all classes.


    Federal financial aid is available beginning the summer after the student graduates from high school. Students enrolled in high school are not eligible for financial aid, which is why we've chosen to waive tuition for the classes taken while still in high school.


    Only Pioneer Express courses (MCC online or on-campus classes) will count for eligibility. Credits earned through concurrent enrollment (those courses taught at the high school) will not count towards the six credits of eligibility for the Pioneer Promise Scholarship. Please consider Pioneer Express courses if you'd like to attend MCC and be eligible for this scholarship!


    If your school is interested in pursuing concurrent enrollment partnerships with Miles Community college, please contact us! We can work with your school administration to determine if specific courses or instructors meet the necessary requirements. We would love to have you join us!


    The Free 2 Explore program at Miles Community College offers two free dual enrollment courses to all eligible Montana high school students. The classes can be on-campus, online, or in the high school. Free 2 Explore/dual enrollment classes allow students to explore college major options, and start on a college degree while still in high school. There is no credit limit on the two free courses (i.e. it is not limited to 6 credits only-if the two courses total 7 credits, both courses are eligible).


    Miles Community College provides dual enrollment opportunities to high school students in a number of ways - on-campus, online, or in the high school. Students earn college credit, and may even simultaneously earn high school credit at the same time.

    Our college credit-only dual enrollment classes, offered on-campus at MCC or online, are offered under the heading "Pioneer Express". In the past, you may have heard MCC's program for high school students referred to as "Jump Start" - the Pioneer Express Program provides similar opportunities for Montana high school students. Any Montana high school students can enroll in a Pioneer Express course, provided they meet enrollment eligibility and prerequisite requirements.

    "Concurrent enrollment" courses are those courses, taught at partner high schools, for which students can simultaneously earn high school credit and college credit. For these courses to be offered, they must be pre-approved and agreed to by a special agreement signed by both the college and high school administration. Student enrollment requires permission of appropriate high school personnel, and is limited to high school juniors and seniors.


    Free 2 Explore launched Fall 2018, alongside the Montana University System's "One Two Free" program.


    For Pioneer Express courses (online or on-campus MC courses), you'll complete a Pioneer Express application and registration form, found on our website, at the MCC Enrollment Services office, or in your high school counseling office. Concurrent enrollment students registering for college credit will complete a special, school-specific registration form which can be obtained from your high school instructor or guidance counselor. You'll complete new registration forms for each term that you enroll.

    Once you register and enroll for a dual enrollment course we'll automatically waive the tuition and mandatory fees for your first two courses. These two courses can be spread across multiple enrollment terms. Pioneer Express courses are available fall, spring, and summer terms. Concurrent enrollment courses follow the high school calendar.


    Tuition, mandatory fees, and online/ITV fees are waived for your two Free 2 Explore courses. However, this program doesn't cover the cost of course textbooks or any special fees associated with a class. Examples include science lab fees and other specialized course or material fees.


    Once your application and registration form is submitted with all necessary signatures and your high school transcript and placement scores, you'll be enrolled in the course by our office. You'll receive a confirmation email that includes your student ID number and additional instructions. If you're taking an online class, you'll also get an email from the Distance Education office with instructions on accessing your course in Canvas, our online learning management system. Finally, you'll be sent a bill for any charges owed.


    Once you are above your two class limit you'll be charged only fees for your courses - tuition is waived for ALL additional courses. Mandatory fees are $54/credit, and you may pay additional fees depending on the type of class and whether you take it online, on-campus, or in your high school. The Pioneer Express course list has prices for those classes.

    The two class limit is a one time limit; the program does NOT provide two free courses per semester. However, the two free courses can be spread across multiple terms. (Example: one concurrent enrollment course in the spring at your high school, and one online Pioneer Express course in the summer.) If you withdraw or fail your two Free 2 Explore classes, however, you will not be eligible for additional free courses and will need to pay the regular rates (tuition waived, fees only).


    Federal financial aid is available beginning the summer after the student graduates from high school. Students enrolled in high school are not eligible for financial aid, which is why we've chosen to waive tuition for the classes taken while still in high school.


    Yes! The Free 2 Explore pilot applies to all eligible students starting fall semester 2018. Previous enrollment or completion of dual enrollment classes prior to Fall 2018 doesn't change your eligibility.


    Miles Community College is currently in the third year of a three-year, free concurrent enrollment pilot project with Custer County District High School and Sidney High School. For the 2018-2019 academic year, these students will continue to receive ALL of their concurrent enrollment course credits (for courses taught at the high school) absolutely free.

    Students at these two schools can still take advantage of Free 2 Explore by enrolling in online or on-campus classes through the Pioneer Express program at MCC. Their first two Pioneer Express courses will also be free. CCDHS and SHS students can maximize their savings by taking both concurrent enrollment and Pioneer Express classes!


    Only Pioneer Express credits count towards Pioneer Promise eligibility. Concurrent enrollment credits do not.

    Students who pass at least six credits from MCC through Pioneer Express will be automatically eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to MCC if they enroll at MCC as a degree-seeking student after high school graduation. We call this scholarship our "Pioneer Promise" scholarship-it's our promise to help make college degree attainment affordable for Montana high school students!

    Only Pioneer Express courses (MCC online or on-campus classes) will count for eligibility. Credits earned through concurrent enrollment (those courses taught at the high school) will not count towards the six credits of eligibility for the Pioneer Promise Scholarship. Students must earn at least a C or better in their MCC Pioneer Express courses to be eligible. The scholarship will be awarded as $500 per semester for their first year of degree-seeking enrollment, provided students maintain good academic standing while enrolled at MCC (2.0 semester GPA).


    Effective July 1, 2000, Miles Community College adopted a Return Policy that conforms to the updated version (Section 668.22) of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. Students with Title IV funding who withdraw or cease attendance will be subject to both the Federal Refund Policy regarding the possible return of Title IV funds awarded to the student, as well as the Miles Community College Return of Funds Policy. Only that amount of the semester's aid that has been earned (as a result of the prorated amount of time the student has been in school for the semester) will be eligible for retention on the student's behalf on or before the 60% point in the semester. Title IV and all other aid is viewed as 100% earned after that point in time. Any aid that is not earned must be returned back to its source. If there is a student account balance resulting from these adjustments, the student is responsible for payment. Students who withdraw without attending any class owe a repayment of 100% of the aid they received. Title IV funds will be returned to its source in the following order: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Montana Grant, Other Title IV Programs, Students/Parents.

    For more information on the proper withdrawal procedures, see the withdrawal section in the Educational Policies of the MCC catalog. Any questions concerning these policies should be directed to the Miles Community College Financial Aid Office at (406) 874-6182 or 1-800-541- 9281.

 
Want to save even more? Maximize your Pioneer Express savings and earn your Pioneer Promise Scholarship!


    Enroll at Miles Community College after you graduate from high school, and your dual enrollment savings continue!

    Students who pass at least six credits from MCC through Pioneer Express will be automatically eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to MCC if they enroll at MCC as a degree-seeking student after high school graduation. We call this scholarship our "Pioneer Promise" scholarship-it's our promise to help make college degree attainment affordable for Montana high school students!

    Only Pioneer Express courses (MCC online or on-campus classes) will count for eligibility. Credits earned through concurrent enrollment (those courses taught at the high school) will not count towards the six credits of eligibility for the Pioneer Promise Scholarship. Students must earn at least a C or better in their MCC Pioneer Express courses to be eligible. The scholarship will be awarded as $500 per semester for their first year of degree-seeking enrollment, provided students maintain good academic standing while enrolled at MCC (2.0 semester GPA). Please contact our admissions office for more information!

Have more questions? Want to sign up?

Please contact Erin Niedge, Dean of Enrollment Management and Educational Support Services, at

Call 406-874-6211 or email NiedgeE@milescc.edu

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