Hundreds of high school students throughout Walters State’s 10-county service area will be earning college credit this year through a program called dual enrollment.
Dual enrollment enables students to earn both college and high school credit by taking courses through Walters State. Some students attend classes at the college’s campus locations in Greeneville, Morristown, Tazewell, or Sevierville. Other students take classes offered at high school campuses while others enroll online.
“Dual enrollment is really beneficial,” said student Anders Logan. He’s even taking two classes this summer. In fact, he’s on schedule to complete so many credits that he’ll start college as a junior.
Logan is an exception, according to Matthew Hunter. As dean of distance education at Walters State, Hunter oversees dual enrollment courses. Most dual enrollment students graduate high school with enough credit to be a semester or two ahead – like Gabrielle Davis.
“I took one last summer and I’m taking one now. I’m also taking two this fall and two in the spring. You get basic courses over with so you can focus on your major sooner,” Davis said.
Hunter says that the college credit is just one of the benefits.
“Students who take dual enrollment courses find the transition from high school to college easier, whether they come here after high school or go to another college. These students have completed college classes and know what standard is expected in college,” Hunter said.
College credit earned through dual enrollment transfers to virtually any college and is designed to meet course requirements of freshmen and sophomores, Hunter said. For example, Composition I, is the most popular class. The class is required by almost every college major. Other popular dual enrollment classes include American history, math, and psychology.
The College Experience, a class being offered to dual enrollment students this year, is designed to prepare students for college, and Hunter encourages students to consider adding this three-hour credit class to their schedule. The class is offered on campuses and online.
“This class teaches great skills for high school students planning to go to college. Students can learn good study habits, how to set and reach educational goals, and what to expect once they’re on a college campus,” Hunter said.
The cost varies depending on the number of classes and credit hours. Many students qualify for the dual enrollment grant offered by the state of Tennessee. With the grant, students can take a three-credit college course for $210.
High school students can register for dual enrollment now. The deadline is Aug. 22, but Hunter encourages students to register early so the process will be smoother. For more information, call 423-585-6996.
In the Picture: High school students get a head start on college with Walters State’s Dual Enrollment Program. Frank Umbarger, right, discusses the benefits of the program with Kayla Huber, distance education specialist, students Anders Logan and Gabrielle Davis. Umbarger is coordinator of distance education at Walters State.