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Raimondo: Prepare RI gets students a degree for less money

In North Providence, students have been able to take college courses while in high school for two decades.

In North Providence, students have been able to take college courses while in high school for two decades. Senior Brendan Walker is doing it to cut down on the length of his college career.

"My brother and sister both went through this program, so I was just looking and saw it was a good program," Walker told NBC 10 News. "I figured if I could save money in college and save some time in school and get to a job quicker, I'd take up on this offer now."

Junior Caroline Coucu is also participating.

"I wanted to try and graduate college a year earlier to try and save money," Coucu said.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, along with Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, toured North Providence High School on Wednesday to praise the plan, as well as offer an improvement for every high schooler in the state.

Rainmindo's Prepare RI plan, which is included in her proposed budget, would pay for students to take courses that would be accepted for credit at all the state's public higher education institutions.

It gets students a degree with less cost, she said.

"[It was implemented] so young people leave high school with the skills they need to get a job or to go to college, and to make college more affordable to everybody," Raimondo said.

A second plan Raimondo offered in her proposed budget would have companies coordinate with the colleges to develop curriculum that would train students to work at those companies.

It includes a mentorship element for the students involved, and would guarantee them first crack at any jobs in the companies.

The two plans together are projected to cost the state more than $2 million. But, she and Pryor said it's a key element of providing workers ready for employers.

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