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AOF Program Offers Students Dozens Of College Credits

April 29, 2014, 5:06 PM by Sammi Bjelland

AOF Program Offers Students Dozens Of College Credits
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

More schools are offering students the chance to earn college credits while still in high school. The Academy of Finance is doing that and then some.

The Academy Of Finance isn't just giving kids dual credits to be used for high school and college; it's also giving students real-world money skills while still in high school.

"This information is so applicable to things. Whether you plan to go on to design or even automotive. It's got such a wide range of how applicable it is," Junior Kameron Burmeister said. 

The AOF offers students up to 17 dual credits, which gives them a big head start for college.

"I'm getting a lot of my credits done. I've gone and talked to colleges and they've accepted all of the credits that I'm getting through here.  So I'm getting most of my freshman year done with this program," Junior Breanna Valencia said. 

"For me, I've wanted to go to USD. So for me, it's a little bit of a head start already there," Burmeister said. 

"Once you add up all the 17 college credits you can get, you know over a semester worth, under $600," AOF Instructor Penny Brunken said.

On top of the valuable credits earned, students are also offered internships with local businesses.

"I definitely didn't think that business was something that I would like.  But through the program I've learned a lot more and I've found out it's something that I like and I enjoy," Valencia said. 

23 of the 69 students in the program will graduate Tuesday night.

AOF Instructor Penny Brunken says it's an exciting time to see where the students will go with the knowledge they've gained.

"I hope that one day that they'll come back and they'll say, 'Geez, Ms. Brunken, I bought my first or I bought the house and I thought of you because you taught us all what to look for and the importance of having good credit,'" Brunken said.

Brunken says the program will be expanding to area schools outside of Sioux Falls next year. She says students can learn more about getting involved in AOF by talking to their guidance counselor.

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