Over the last year, many students have had the unexpected opportunity to explore the freedoms that remote learning can offer. With seemingly extra hours in the day to fill, high schoolers may be looking for new forms of education. Dual enrollment allows high schoolers to take courses through a college that will simultaneously fulfill both high school and college requirements. Community colleges, as well as many private universities, offer dual enrollment classes to high schoolers at a discounted rate.
Advantages of Dual Enrollment
· With careful planning, students can fulfill many general education requirements while still in high school at a significantly lower cost.
· Having college credits on one’s transcripts makes a student stand out from other students.
· No need to take AP classes and pass AP exams because the classes taken are already at a college level, so there is no need to prove one’s grasp of the material with a big end-of-year exam.
· High school students learn early how to navigate college websites, portals, and tutoring centers and engage with professors all while still under their parents’ guidance.
· Students learn time management.
Things to Consider
· Some class content may be too mature, so it is important to research the professor and subject material being taught before registering for the class. One beneficial resource for this is https://www.ratemyprofessors.com.
· Most of the other classmates will be older than high school age. This is not necessarily bad, especially when working remotely. However, when in person, be aware that the average student in the class will not be high school age.
· It is important to know how many credits/units a student can transfer to any particular university and still maintain a freshman standing. For instance, if the student’s goal is to go directly to a four-year university with a scholarship that is only offered to freshmen, the student must be careful not to earn too many college credits/units.
· When a student does transfer to a four-year college, be aware that he/she may enter as an upperclassman and therefore not be in classes with his/her peers.
· Know what your desired four-year college is seeking. For instance, what are the requirements for incoming freshmen versus transfers?
Community College vs. Private College for Dual Enrollment
· Know which credits will be accepted and where. The website https://assist.org is a reliable resource for knowing which classes will transfer or be accepted by which universities.
· If a student knows that he/she wants to get into a particular college, that will help determine where to go to earn the dual enrollment credits. For instance, if the student is trying to get into Cal Poly, then taking classes through a local community college such as Moorpark or Pierce is advantageous because those colleges have predetermined courses that will transfer. These general education classes are often referred to as IGETC classes (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum). An excellent resource for understanding IGETC is https://www.moorparkcollege.edu/departments/student-services/articulation-office/uc/igetc-questions-and-answers.
· If a student is hoping to be accepted into a private university, it may be advantageous to pay the discounted tuition to attend that university as a high schooler. Then the student will know that the university’s credits will be accepted since not all private universities will accept credits from community colleges.
· Community colleges in California are virtually free for high schoolers. There is a small fee (less than $40) per semester, but the actual classes are free. Different courses may have books or lab fees, so be sure to consider these added costs. However, many online classes have virtual textbooks that are free.
· Private colleges often offer a discounted tuition to high school students, but the fees can add up. Know your university and what the costs will be when considering dual enrollment.
https://www.ratemyprofessors.com: Use this site to look up specific professors and how their students rated them. It is important to read through comments and check which classes are being evaluated.
https://assist.org: This site provides information on which California community college classes will be accepted by which California State University and University of California campuses. https://www.moorparkcollege.edu/departments/student-services/articulation-office/uc/igetc-questions-and-answers: This site is for understanding IGETC.