CORVALLIS - Oregon State University is beginning a pilot outreach program that will allow high school students in the Corvallis area to take a handful of OSU courses while still in high school, and get a jump on their college careers.

At least one of the courses may open up to other high school students around the state.

"This program is a little bit different from the typical pre-college course," said Michael Hansen, acting coordinator for OSU's Summer Session and Pre-College programs. "A lot of colleges and universities go into high schools and accredit courses taught on those sites. But students are starting to find out that they have trouble transferring those courses to other institutions."

Classes offered through the pilot program are regular OSU courses that count toward the university's "baccalaureate core" requirement.

The OSU pilot program will run winter and spring terms, offering a total of six courses: an introduction to philosophy, differential calculus, marketing, wildlife conservation, and a pair of introductory electrical and computer engineering courses.

Learning will come through a variety of methods, including via the World Wide Web, videotapes, Oregon Ed-Net, OSU instructors visiting the high schools, and students coming to campus.

Hansen said the philosophy course, taught over the Internet by OSU instructor Jon Dorbolo, may be able to accommodate several students from high schools outside the Corvallis area.

High school students may take other courses at OSU as well, but would have to be admitted as OSU students, Hansen said. The special program will streamline admission procedures, he added.

"We want to provide students the opportunity to try the university experience, from registration, to studying, to taking final exams," he said.

Students interested in learning more about the program should call 541-737-1470 from the Corvallis area, or the toll-free number, 1-800-375-9359.

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Michael Hansen, 541-737-1470