A shift in presence for Hope and Prescott high school students enrolled in concurrent studies classes at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope began with the opening of the fall semester, which also saw continued strong enrollment at the college. Beginning with the semester which opened Aug. 21, high school students in the Hope and Prescott school districts who are enrolled in concurrent studies classes at UACCH will attend those classes on the UACCH campus with the college student body. UACCH Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Jennifer Methvin called the move an exciting change. “Qualifying high school students from these two districts now have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully in the college experience by taking their concurrent credit classes on the UACCH campus,” Dr. Methvin said. “This enriches the experience and lets us focus even more on teaching these students how to be successful in college. We applaud both school districts for partnering with us to take this bold step.” Concurrent credit classes are offered to qualifying high school students providing dual credit toward high school graduation and a college degree, according to an announcement by UACCH spokesman Brent Talley. “Concurrent credit is offered across the state to qualifying students but it is very unique to have the students actually attend the classes on the college campus during the regular school day,” Talley's announcement said. Both school districts will provide transportation for the students involved. Tuition and fees for the concurrent courses are covered, in part, through UACCH scholarships and the partnership between the college and the participating school districts, according to the announcement. “I am truly excited about being able to provide this opportunity to the students at Hope High School,” Hope Schools Superintendent Bobby Hart said. “Our community and board have come together to express how much they value education. “Our kids and their futures, as well as the city of Hope, will benefit from the opportunity for our graduates to leave HHS with a considerable number of hours under their belt, with no cost to the student or their family,” Hart added. “It says a lot about what a great city and school we have.” Prescott Schools Superintendent Robert Poole said parents in his district already recognize the value of the concurrent credit system. “I can't tell you how many parents and students come to me after graduation and say, 'Thank you' for our school district providing concurrent credit,” Poole stated. “Especially after they realize how much money it saves them both in tuition and books.” With student orientation activities continuing through the first week of classes last week at UACCH campuses in Hope and Texarkana, Talley said Friday that initial estimated enrollment figures continue to reflect a solid core of UACCH students. “It is just too early to release a number,” Talley said Friday. “The numbers look comparable to last spring.” Those figures show an initial headcount in January of 1,252 students. That compared with a spring initial headcount of 1,249 students in 2012.