Jump-start to earning college credit

High school dual enrollment numbers on the rise

BY JOE ZYLKA
NEWS EDITOR

In today’s robust and modern world, individuals are always looking to stand out from the rest in their fields of study or work. Usually, the process of “getting your name out there” starts once one graduates high school, but now, Schoolcraft helps high school students start their college studies early and begin forming professional relationships before they even receive their high school diplomas.

Recent changes to the Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act in Michigan and overall student awareness have increased high school dual enrollment by 31 percent at Schoolcraft during the Winter 2015 semester. The dual enrollment program is offered to public school students, private and home-schooled students.

Limitations on available classes do exist, so students and parents must lean on the side of caution when looking to choose courses for dual enrollment.

“It is important to recognize that even though a parent is reading the course descriptions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their child in high school would qualify to be in that class,” said Dr. Michael Oliver, Associate Dean of Counseling and Student Services at Schoolcraft. “They really need to check with a counselor to make sure they are in the right class for that particular student.”

Another advantage in addition to a head start on college credit is that the students’ tuition is usually paid for by their school district or by the State of Michigan. If a family is mired in tough financial times, dual enrollment in high school can help ease the pressures of paying for college courses once they are in college full-time.

“Dual enrollment, for me, was a way to get college credits before I’m in college,” said Katie Wheeler, who participated in the Schoolcraft dual enrollment last summer, in a video interview about the program produced by Schoolcraft. “It was an affordable and convenient way to get ahead, instead of spending more time and money on a [online] course that I could take at home.”

Although it is too late for most current Schoolcraft students to enroll in such courses, many students, like Andrea Stirsman, see the value in dual-enrollment courses.

“I wish someone had told me to take things more seriously in high school. It sounds like a great opportunity,” said Stirsman. “I hope future high school students take advantage of this program. It could help them in their high school classes, as well as give them the jump start into college.”

Dual-enrollment programs are perfect for high school students who want to get a head start on their college education and make new connections and friendships. For more information on Schoolcraft College’s dual enrollment program, visit schoolcraft.edu/dualenrollment.