A computer programming organization for middle and high school students announced it's partnered with Montana Tech so students can earn college credits for their work.
Since its launch, cofounder Greg Gianforte said 1,200 students have gone through the program.
To take it one step further, high school juniors and seniors can now apply for a CodeMontana course through Montana Tech and earn college credits for their programming work.
"CodeMontana class was developed by two individuals out of Stanford,"Gianforte said. "Essentially this is an intro to programming class, so they're going to do about as much work as a one semester college course."
Gianforte said an adjunct professor at Montana Tech grades the material and assigns grades at the end of the course.
"The beauty of this, is it starts to become institutionalized," he said.
The three credits can transfer to other universities, Gianforte said, giving the kids a leg up as they head into college.
The online course costs just under $150, to help pay administrative fees at Montana Tech. But it's a small price, Gianforte said, compared to the cost of enrolling in college for a semester for the same course.
This new announcement is just one of several things in the works at CodeMontana. Gianforte said they're looking at starting a jobs portal to advertise high-tech jobs online.
"There's a number of things we've got up our sleeves," he said.
To sign up for the course, Gianforte said they must sign up for CodeMontana, which gives the student 90 days of access for free. Then the student must head to the Montana Tech website to complete the 2014-2015 Jump Start form, and register as an early "college-credit-only" course through Montana Tech.
He said students should register for the course "CodeMontana: Intro to CS," or CS 191.
The CodeMontana course is all online, and is offered during the fall and spring semesters. The deadline to sign up for the fall semester is September 8.
For questions about the course or registration, call Bernie Phelps at 406-496-4565.
Gianforte added kids can still sign up for the regular CodeMontana program -- which is free.