Advanced learning

Advanced Learning Center for the Benefit of Nebo Students | News, Sports, Jobs

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Trevin Nielsen, 13, from left, Tyrell Nielsen, 17, and Tyler Hendrickson, 17, watch Chris Steere, 14, steer a Vex robot around a classroom floor during an open house at Advanced Learning Springville Center on Tuesday October 23, 2012. JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald

JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald

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Chris Steere, 14, untangles the ropes of a Vex robot duel with the help of teacher Rob Eastmond during an open house at the Advanced Learning Center in Springville on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald

JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald

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Michael Elzinga, 16, of Maple Mountain High School shows his class web work to his family, Laura, Robert, 12, and Dirk Elzinga, during an open house at the Advanced Learning Center in Springville on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald

JIM MCAULEY / Daily Herald


SPRING – An idea that has been in the minds of school board members and school principals in Nebo for several years finally came to fruition in August. Now, residents got to see how students are benefiting from this idea at an open house at the Advanced Learning Center in Springville.

The Advanced Learning Center serves students in Grades 10-12 and offers a number of courses for students seeking advanced learning opportunities. It hosts courses for a wide variety of interests including application programming, computer networking, pre-requisite nursing, forensics, animation, web design, and more.

“We’re kind of a magnetic school,” said Alan Ashton, director of ALC. “Our students come by choice and we are able to offer them something more. They can take some of their first year college courses, prepare for college, and learn skills for various careers.

ALC offers three types of courses. College and professional courses are face-to-face courses. Instructors are certified high school teachers with experience in the specific courses they teach. These courses can be concurrent enrollments certified by a college or university. Students can also participate in Utah Valley University’s distance learning courses, which are interactive live audio and video taught by UVU professors. Students receive high school and college credits for these courses. The third type of course is offered through Utah Students Connect, a consortium of six Utah school districts. These courses are taught by highly qualified teachers using innovative curricula.

Some classes may require a class or lab fee for supplies. Simultaneous registration fees associated with college registration are the responsibility of the student. Distance courses only require registration fees paid to UVU.

“We really wanted to reach students across Nebo’s borders whether they attend our schools or not,” Ashton said. “We wanted to involve students who might not be successful in traditional classrooms as well as families who homeschool.”

And it is these students whose opinions matter most in the courses that are taught at the center.

“We listen to our students and ask them what they want to learn,” Ashton said. “It creates a better learning environment because our students here learn what they want and need to learn for their future. “

Due to the contribution of the students, the center hopes to implement other courses in the future, including a ProStart kitchen for an advanced culinary program and DROID and IOS programming.

There are 240 high school students in the Nebo school district who attend classes at the center.

“I take math, English and psychology here,” said Mickelle Marchant, an elder at Payson High School. “I like that there aren’t too many students and that the teachers are really good. I feel comfortable here and it makes learning easier.

The center allows students to take advanced courses while being enrolled and involved in their high school.

“We have cheerleaders, athletes and choir members taking classes here,” Ashton said. “This opportunity allows them to stay involved in their high school. They are not removed from their normal environment.

Students remain enrolled in their high school, work with counselors in their schools, but can take as many classes as they want in blocks of two periods. Students attend classes at the center for a minimum of two periods, either in the morning or in the afternoon.

“It has been a huge collaboration between our high school counselors, registrars and us,” said Ashton. “That’s the beauty of the program. We don’t have any advisers here, so we don’t have overhead. Our students are looked after by their guidance counselors, who help them make sure they have all the courses they need to graduate.

“The amazing part about this program is that we can offer courses that cannot be taught in each individual high school,” said Nebo spokesperson Lana Hiskey. “We couldn’t offer some of these classes in every high school because there weren’t enough students enrolled, but by having these classes at ALC, students across the district can come together and learn. . “

The center also provides transportation to and from the Learning Center and Nebo High Schools.

“We wanted to eliminate variables that might cause students to not want to attend ALC,” Ashton said. “The bus picks them up from their high school and drops them off when they’re done. They don’t have to worry about bad weather, gasoline costs, vehicle wear and tear. We gave them the opportunity to come here.

Students who attend the center may even graduate from high school with an associate’s degree, but that is not the primary focus of the program.

“We want to help our students prepare for what it’s like to learn at the college level,” Ashton said. “If they can complete their first year courses here, then when they get into college, they can take the most exciting courses for their degree. We also want to equip them with the skills to find good jobs while they are in college so they don’t end up with huge school loans.

Going forward, Ashton hopes to continue to see the center grow and eventually become a partner with UVU.

“I would love to see a UVU south campus that is available to our students and accessible to adults in the community,” said Ashton. “I would love to see first year and second year courses offered on a southern campus so that the main UVU campus can focus on higher level courses. It would be a great exhibition for our students.

For more information on the Advanced Learning Center, visit www.alc.nebo.edu. Questions can be directed to Principal Alan Ashton at (801) 489-2833 or by email at [email protected]


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