Early Start & Dual Credit

Online Early Start for High School Students

Regardless of whether your school offers college credit courses through a Dual Credit partnership, you can still get an Early Start on your education. OTC's Early Start program offers juniors and/or seniors the opportunity to take a class or two while still attending high school. Eligible students may take up to two courses per semester at any of our locations and/or online.

Be sure to check with your high school counselor about the courses you are taking because some of those courses could count toward your high school graduation requirements. All of them will count on your college transcript, and most OTC coursework will transfer to other accredited colleges. For more information about transferring courses, see Transfer Resources.

Early Start applicants must be at least 16 years old. Students may take only two courses per semester and are not eligible for federal financial aid. All other regular admission and payment requirements apply.

For more information about taking Early Start courses online, contact OTC Online at (417) 447-8200.

Apply for Admission

Complete the application online. You will receive your confirmation letter within 10 business days. 

To see registration dates click here.

Complete Orientation

All new OTC students are required to complete orientation prior to meeting with an advisor and enrolling in classes. Orientation is strongly recommended for readmitted students who have been away from OTC for awhile. Start the online orientation.

Take the Placement Test

COMPASS test scores are required for all students who do not have ACT scores, or their ACT scores are older than 2 years.  Placement scores are also required for transfer students who have not taken English and/or math in college and for students pursuing certain allied health programs. Walk-ins are accepted with photo identification. For more information, including testing times, see placement testing.

In order to do as well as possible, students are encouraged to review sample questions prior to taking the test.  It is also strongly recommended that students complete the placement test in two separate sessions.  Trying to complete all three subtests at the same time can cause fatigue and result in lower scores. 

It is important that you do your best on the placement test because test scores determine which educational path you will take at the College, which can impact your eligibility for financial aid.  For more information, see placement test score results

Complete the Early Start Permission Form

Meet with an Academic Advisor

Stop by Student Services where you will be seen on a walk-in basis.  Please indicate that you are an Early Start student and bring your photo ID and signed permission form with you.

Register For Classes

The earlier you register, the more choices of you will have in class offerings and times. Summer and Fall registration will begin in April. Spring registration will begin in November. See Registration Dates.

Make Tuition Payment Arrangements

By registering for classes, each student accepts responsibility for payment of all tuition and fees due the college.  Every student must make tuition payment arrangements by the final fee payment deadline to complete class registration. For a complete list of deadline dates, see Tuition Payment Information.

Tuition Payment Options

  • Option 1 - Make an immediate payment with a credit card or echeck through QuickPay.  Log in to MyOTC; Select the "Access OTC" tab; QuickPay.
  • Option 2 - My Payment Plan.  Select MyPay-Monthly or MyPay-Delayed Payment. You can register for MyPay MyWay AFTER you have registered in classes for the upcoming semester. The sooner you enroll with MyPay MyWay, the more payment plan choices you will have.  Log in to MyOTC; Select the "Access OTC" tab; My Payment Plan.