Dual Enrollment Classes

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Dual Enrollment Classes
10
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 12:09pm

Dual Enrollment Classes were brought up in the thread on AP classes and I thought I'd start another separate thread about them.  I'm interested to hear other's experiences and thoughts on them.  If your district has them, how are they organized, do they have a good selection of them, etc. 

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 12:16pm

We have them in our district, and in fact its part of a large community college district in the area.  We have what's called an "early college start" program.  There are certain classes that are offered during either first block period or last block period of the school day that count both as high school credit and as college credit.  They can also take classes in the evening at the H/S or at any of the other college branch campuses that can also count.  If they are done at the H/S location, they are free except for the cost of books.  If they are online classes or done at one of the other college campuses its a $75 fee.  They can take up to 18 credits per "year", 2 classes each school semester and 2 classes in the summer before and/or after junior year for a total of 36 credits they can obtain before leaving high school. 

My ODD took 2 over the summer, she had elected junior year not to take any (though I really wish she had).  But over the summer she wanted to get US Government and Politics and Communications out of the way so she could take more art classes her senior year as well as have an off period at the end of the day.  She took Government at the high school for 3 straight weeks over the summer, 8-10:30 Monday - Friday, and she took Communications as an online course over 6 weeks.  She had assignments she had to post on the college blackboard, go in to take 3 tests at the college location of her choice, and also go into another campus and give 2 speeches on pre-set dates.  And those classes, as opposed to the AP credits which can be hit or miss if they are accepted at her college of choice, actually transfer just fine and she then doesn't have to take those classes or can use them as electives at the college she is attending.

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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 2:10pm

In our county, there are two ways to go about it. My own DD is in a "middle college" program that accepts a small number of juniors and seniors. These students are on the local community college campus full-time but they do have a classroom where they meet for 3 hours daily for high school level honors English and History as well as a critical thinking/college/career planning class and internship. Everything else is taken through the community college or satelite campus (no limitations on what they enroll in.) They have priority registration (which is a HUGE bonus.) Classes are free but books are the families responsibility. The experience a child gets really depends on the individual and they are all there for their own reasons. Our DD is college minded and so plowing through as many transferrable college level general eds as she can. There are others who have a specific career in mind and looking more towards graduating with an associates in their particular interest. Others just didn't fit in at their regular high schools, needed a different social atmosphere but still primarily taking high school level math courses and the college classes that meet their high school requirements. DD has found the quality of college students is quite varied. Like high school, you range between very high achievers to kids who literally sleep through class. However, she never feels held back because at the community college, the teacher is not beholden to educating the lowest performers. They teach the material and if you need more, better go to tutoring. 

Now, all our  community colleges have a similar program but not all have been quite as successful largely do to the community colleges having different focuses. For example, our local school is largely for general ed, it's satellite mostly tech. They have a wide variety of classes offered. Other colleges have more basic offerings in general ed but may have a lot to offer someone who wants to be a vet's assistant or a nurse, for example.

Another way, at 16, any high schooler with permission from their regular high school can take courses at the community college. In this case, the parents must pay for the classes and books. The kids spend most of their day at the regular high school and take classes when they can. I did this as a teen so nothing new! If a child is in a charter and needs a course the school doesn't offer (usually higher maths) then the school often pays for them to take the course at a community college for duel credit.

There can be a bit of a learning curve when you first start. Like I said in another post, high schools are big on micro-managing how kids are to learn the material. DD learned fast that in high school, books/homework reinforce the lectures. What is said in class will be the bulk of what you learn. In college, lectures support the books/homework. You have to do the reading even if they seem to never reference the book. If they give you an assignment, you have to do it even if it won't be turned in. The lectures are largely to help you through the more complicated points.

I'd like to see more of it. I think a lot of kids who are taking 4 or 5 AP's a year could benefit. Of course, then you have to start considering space. The more expensive universities get, the impacted the community colleges get. If DD didn't have priority enrollement through her program, it would be very difficult to depend on community college for high school graduation credits.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 4:51pm

The only caveat I'd add is that even on the west coast, not all middle college programs seek high achievers and the classes aren't always taught at a level that's as high as the best high school classes.  In my area, there's a real push to enroll students who aren't succeeding in their regular high schools but who wish to "transform themselves into a serious and academically focused student."     My guess is that the mission of the middle college program in my specific school district is to spare the creative and nontraditional student from the extreme intensity of our public high school (57 National Merit finalists intensity).

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 5:18pm
I don't have a lot of details about the program at our high school, just from what other parents have told me. Juniors and Seniors can take classes at the local community college, they are paid for by a district program. It is limited enrollment and they have to be accepted to the program. They might take all of their classes there, or just a few. One teen I know was able to get in her AS degree before heading off to a 4 year college after graduation. She only took one class at the high school.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Sun, 03-03-2013 - 8:22am

Duel enrollment classes are offered at our high school.  They are taught by high school teachers, at the school, during the regular school day.  They qualify as honors credit for high school gpas.  We do have to pay the community college cost for each class.  

#1 took two math classes last year, fulfilling her math requirements for her intended majors.  This semester she is taking a science that will fulfill her physical science requirement. 

Through careful planning; using duel enrollment, AP, and wise use of high school classes; #1 has fulfilled her math, both science (life being met with two years of biology, physical with her current class), foreign language (four years of Spanish), and likely her psychology requirement (AP this year).  Thankfully, she isn't at risk of losing her freshman status either.  I know of too many kids who thought they were doing the right thing by racking up the college credit before they actually started college who lost out on scholarship opportunities because they were considered transfer students and not freshmen.  #1 will likely be at sophomore standing second semester, but that won't affect sholarships.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 11:42am
Ekmama, that was one thing I was curious about also, not for Dual Enrollment classes since ODD only took 2, but between the DE and AP classes, she expects to have 2 credits shy of a sophomore status walking into college and I wondered if that did affect any scholarship opportunities she had. I didn't really get an answer anywhere, she indicated it wouldn't but I was unsure. I'd be interested to hear about that if you know more.
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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:29pm

Our public school offers a few college-credit courses, but they aren't done with the local CC, they're done with individual universities, e.g. there's a Forensics class that grants credit through a major private university several hours away from us.  They don't seem to attract the AP cohort, though - more often they're for kids who are trying to get cheap college credit.

DS's small private Catholic school offered students the chances to take classes at a local 4-year university, but I didn't know anyone who took them either.  Most of the kids wanted to have the full experience of their senior year of HS, and the college is not a very good one.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:30pm

That last paragraph is interesting.  I've been reading that, too, that the emphasis on recruiting HSers to take CC classes is with an eye to keeping at-risk kids learning and setting them earlier onto a degree-granting program.  I didn't realize there were regional differences too.  In any case, I think it's a great idea!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:36pm
I'd check with individual colleges but the magic number is around 60 units. It you have 60 units, you are a "transfer student" and you can lose out on some financial aid opportunities.... though, you also have completed 2 years worth of college and that's a pretty good financial break in itself. I applied as a freshman even though I was really a sophomore in credits. My DD will be the same. We know many kids who entered with 30+ units and still were Freshman standing and had no issues with scholarships. Gotta be careful when you get close to 60 though as then, you are considered a transfer student. Then again, with most colleges using 6 years as the graduation standard... what do the class titles even mean?
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 2:52pm
Interesting, that helps me out turtletime. I don't know they exact number, and some will depend on her last round of AP test scores this spring, but she was conservative in her estimates that should would start out with around 30 credits I think, based on her analysis of their website info. Obviously she will know much more when she meets with the academic advisors when she is there to do freshman class sign ups in the early summer.
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