Students knock out GE

Students knock out GE

Grace Smith, News Editor

College-bound kids take advantage of free college

The concept of high school dual enrollment courses has been increasing in popularity over the past decade. According to the National center for Education Statistics, dual enrollment is defined as “an organized system with special guidelines that allows high school students to take college-level courses.” The goal of the program is to help students prepare for the rigors of college classes while saving money to attend a postsecondary institution.

EHS has offered dual enrollment classes for four years. AIMS Community College and the University of Northern Colorado offer classes for lower prices to EHS, and the school pays for up to six credit hours per semester per student. After the six credit hours, UNC classes cost $65 and about $67 through AIMS.

John Stewart (21)said he was getting in on the cost effectiveness of taking dual classes. “It gives you a feel for longer lectures and helps you save money for college. I personally am taking some of the classes now so I don’t have to take them in college,” He said.

Students only earn the college credits offered by dual enrollment classes if they earn a grade of ‘C’ or better. There is also the option for students to withdraw from the class, which means they can stop taking the class for its college credit without damaging their academic record. This contributes to the fact that EHS has an extremely low drop rate due to the fact that the teachers will encourage withdrawing from classes rather than actually dropping them.

Between the two colleges, there are over a dozen dual enrollment classes available to students on Eaton’s campus. This large offering gives sophomores juniors and seniors so many options that counselor, Kelly Kocheiver says, “I really don’t see a downside, other than if students don’t take advantage of their opportunities.”

As many as 130 students have taken advantage of these opportunities during this school year alone. Counseling office secretary, CJ Pelz, who is in charge of keeping track of dual students, can not disclose the name of the student who currently is taking the most college credits, but did say that the student with the most credits is enrolled in at least six dual classes in just this semester alone.

Senior, Andrea Pennington, who is currently taking College Composition, said, “It’s a really good opportunity which allows high school students to kind of get ahead in their college career already, and just to give them more of an experience of how college is going to be like.”

Maddie Harper (21) addressed the workload and difficulty of the classes, which may be a concern for some students. “Theres not really a lot of homework; just quite a few long term assignments, like papers, and if you are taking lots of classes they can get a little jumbled together,” She said. Although there are many pros to having college classes taught in the high school, counselor Lori Lockman said, “Although I do think this is a great opportunity for students, it is important that they still enjoy their high school experience.” She said she is, “worried that some students are getting more caught up in getting the most college credits they can, but in the process, they are losing time just being a teenager.”

  English teacher, Amy Ross, who teaches College Composition, said, “This program allows students to get the feel for college classes with teachers and class sizes that they are comfortable in.” Ross feels that this comfort level can be a pro and a con to participating in dual classes. “In my opinion, the comfort level that the students have in the college classes here can make them take the classes less seriously than if they were on the actual college campus,” she said.

   One students who has taken advantage of the dual classes both at EHS and on the college campuses is Josh Lapp (19). He has taken 31 credits that count toward his college transcript, which he plans to make use of by knocking out general education classes. He is “Basically going to be able to go in next year starting my major and not having to take any of the light and airy college classes.”

Lapp summed up the perks of dual enrollment by saying, “I feel like it’s a really great opportunity for those people who are in high school and want to get a head start in college because it doesn’t cost quite as much, and you can still take it with the other high school classes.”