High school students take college classes

By JoJo Brinkhoff
Reporter (Fall 2012)

Before 2000, the dual credit program was offered to three nearby high schools with only a handful of classes. In 2001, however, director of admissions Jim Riggs and Melissa Smith, dual credit coordinator, expanded the program to more high schools and more classes. Now in 2012, 36 high schools and three technology centers are involved in the program with Crowder, and at least 27 classes are offered to the students.

The idea behind the program was to allow high school students take college courses while still attending high school. The students can apply for dual credit which allows the students to take college classes at the high school by an approved instructor. Or the students can apply for dual enrollment which allows the students to take online college courses.

The dual credit program focuses on the core of the majors such as English, history, mathematics, fine art appreciation, Spanish, and speech. Students pay $60 per credit hour which includes facility usage, application, and technology and laboratory fees. Except for workbooks and online course content, the students’ textbooks are loaned to them.

“I loved the dual credit program at my high school!” Victoria Stafford, a general studies major, said. “I know with dual credit, it’s cheaper for high schoolers as well as more convenient. I definitely recommend it to anyone.”

Because the students are still in high school, grants and scholarships won’t pay for the dual credit program. However, in the long run, students could save money. In one way, students only pay the $60 and sometimes book fee. The other way is saving the grant and scholarship money.

According to Smith, some scholarships like the A+ program will only pay a certain amount for the students’ classes. So if a student has to take a class twice or decides to switch majors, the scholarships will pay the first time. “But later on down the road,” Smith stated, “they’re not going to be paying for that because you already met your 63 hours total (A+ program) that you can take.”

Before a student can sign up for the program, students must complete their sophomore year of high school, be the age of 16, and have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Above all, however, they must be recommended by their superintendent, counselor, assistant principal or principal.

The reason behind this is “because the high school counselors, teachers, principal, superintendents [and] all of that, they know the student more than we do,” Smith said. So if the student isn’t ready for college courses, the student won’t waste time and money, and risk lowering their GPA.