High schoolers take college courses

By JoJo Brinkhoff

Entertainment Editor

For high school students who want an early start on their college credit hours, Crowder offers the Dual Credit Program.

The idea behind the program is to allow high school students to take college courses while still attending high school. The students can apply for Dual Credit which allows them 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.

Before, the Dual Credit Program was offered to three nearby high schools with only a handful of classes. In 2001, according to Jim Riggs, Director of Admissions, Melissa Smith, Dual Credit Coordinator, and himself expanded the program to more high schools and more classes. As of 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.

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 occasionally workbook fees.

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.

“Later on down the road,” Smith stated about the A+ program, “they’re not going to be paying for that because you already met your 63 (credit) hours total 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. Above all, they must be recommended by their superintendent, counselor, assistant principal or principal.

“Because the high school counselors, teachers, principal, superintendents know the student more than we do,” Smith said.

The reason, if the student isn’t ready for college courses, then the student won’t waste time and money and risk lowering their GPA.