CORNING - Corning Community College will eliminate tuition charges for high school students who take CCC courses that are taught in their high schools, effective in the fall 2019 semester.

The New York State 2019-2020 budget authorized community colleges to take this step in support of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act, according to CCC officials.

Beginning in 1972, CCC has partnered with about 40 regional high schools in the Southern Tier and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania to offer Accelerated College Education courses for students in grades 10, 11, and 12.

Since the program’s inception, these courses have been offered at a significant discount, CCC officials said. Beginning with the fall 2019 semester, CCC courses offered to high school students in a high school will be offered tuition-free.

“We are delighted to be able to improve access to higher education coursework by reducing financial barriers for high school students who wish to earn college credits taught in their high school,” said Katherine P. Douglas, CCC president. “The state’s decision empowers us to strengthen our partnership with area school districts and families to put more students on a path to finish high school academically ready to earn a college degree.”

James Frame, District Superintendent of Schools for GST BOCES, said access to tuition-free college courses taught in high schools will be a game-changer for some of the students in area districts.

“This opportunity removes both the financial barrier and the need to commute,” Frame said. “The supplementary benefits these students realize are transformational. Students who earn college credits while still in high school cut the time and cost of a college degree; some high school graduates begin college with a full year of coursework already completed.”

Equity and accountability are at the heart of ESSA, according to MaryEllen Elia, New York State Commissioner of Education. The plan incentivizes schools and districts to provide students with a well-rounded, high-quality education.

CCC offers ACE courses to high school students. These classes are taught at the high schools, and they are taught by teachers who hold the appropriate degree and credentials required by the college to serve as adjunct instructors. More than 60 courses are available, including options in math, English, history, psychology and sociology.