Gem State Launches New College-Credit Classes

Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA) announced plans to launch three concurrent college-credit classes for next school year. In these concurrent classes, students will receive both high school and college credit for successfully completing the same class.

Gem State will work with Walla Walla College to provide the concurrent credit for intro to business, art and contemporary biology. Gem State already offers advanced placement calculus and anatomy and physiology classes for college credit.

"We want to expand our program to offer more value to our kids," said Mike Schwartz, GSAA principal. "Gem State has many academic achievers who will find these classes well within their capabilities."

A concurrent class will save tuition. If a student takes art and biology for concurrent credit, the credits will cost $50 each. That's about $800 for one quarter of college.

Another benefit of concurrent classes is that students get a taste of college education by experiencing college-level expectations in high school.

"This is a great benefit to parents," said Randy Maxwell, whose daughter plans to participate in the program. "We'll pay a fraction of private college tuition costs for these credits, while saving time.”

Students in their junior and senior years will have the opportunity to take an intro to business class for concurrent credit.

In addition to a college-level business class, students will gain hands-on experience through founding a Gem State chapter of SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship), an international network that links teams of secondary school students to nearby university students, business and civic leaders.

Students will launch projects in keeping with the SAGE mission of "advancing entrepreneurship education and community service-learning across the world, emphasizing ethical business practices, social responsibility, civic engagement and environmental awareness." Students must apply for membership, but the group will be open to all four grades.

Entrepreneurs simply think differently, said Clarence Anderson, dean of the Walla Walla College School of Business. “They are willing to take risks and go out on a limb with an idea they believe will benefit their fellow citizens," Anderson explained. "They are people who focus on the future and have contributed to the success of the American free-enterprise economy.”

“This is the kind of thinking we want to teach our kids while they are still in high school—the kind of entrepreneurial thinking that isn’t taught in the traditional business degree," said Debra McCarver, GSAA business track director. "We want to combine classroom learning with the excitement of a hands-on experience, which is the educational model I believe is most effective.”

To learn more about these concurrent college-credit classes or to apply for Gem State’s business/entrepreneurial track, call (208) 459-1627 ext. 110; or visit

July 01, 2005 / Idaho Conference