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Credits Count STEM Education Initiative Continues Expansion

by on March 6, 2018
AEP CEO Nick Akins addresses students at Eastmoor Academy in Columbus.

(Story by Barry Schumann)

Columbus’ Eastmoor Academy became the latest in a select group of high schools to offer students the opportunity to prepare for a STEM career and earn college credit while still in high school under the AEP Foundation’s Credits CountSM umbrella.

Credits Count was created to fulfill AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nick Akins’ vision of helping under-served students explore and pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers starting in middle school and the chance to earn college credits toward a degree or credits toward a job-ready certificate while in high school. “We asked what could we do to make lives better for generations to come” and Credits Count was the result, Akins told students gathered at Eastmoor for the launch.

In 2017, Laredo Community College in Texas and BridgeValley Community and Technical College in West Virginia joined the Credits Count community.

The Credits Count program, funded by the AEP Foundation and carried out in partnership with local community colleges and public school districts, now operates in all seven AEP operating companies:

  • AEP Ohio — Columbus State Community College and Columbus City Schools, launched in 2014.
  • AEP Texas – Laredo Community College and Laredo Independent School District, launched in 2017.
  • Appalachian Power – BridgeValley Community Technical College and Kanawha County Schools, launched in 2017.
  • Indiana Michigan Power – IVY Tech and Marion Community Schools, launched in 2016.
  • Kentucky Power – Ashland Community and Technical College and Lawrence County Schools, launched in 2015.
  • PSO – Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Public Schools, launched in 2015.
  • SWEPCO – Bossier Parish Community College and Bossier Parish and Caddo Parish school districts, launched in 2014.


Through Credits Count, high school students are preparing for and experiencing college-level coursework as shown in Columbus City Schools. More than 650 Columbus City students have enrolled in dual enrollment courses. These students are on track to complete more than 2,300 college credits toward a certificate in a STEM-related career or a college degree.

“As you look at your career … make sure you think about the fundamentals – science, math, engineering and technology,” Akins told the students. “Credits Count gives you the opportunity to take certain courses and get dual enrollment.”  Completing those courses ensures “the foundation will be set” for success no matter what careers the students choose, he added.

Eastmoor became the fourth Columbus City Schools building to participate in the Credits Count program.

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