Students Are Living Double Lives. It’s Called Dual Enrollment.

Many students are surrounded by peers who are dual-enrolled, but may wonder: what even is dual enrollment? 

Dual enrollment allows current high school students to take college-level courses, while also taking their required high school classes. Students at CHS take college classes in the media center during unfulfilled school hours – typically reserved for electives – to get ahead on college credits. By getting involved in dual enrollment, you can get some of your college credits out of the way, as long as you pass the class. Something that is beneficial for many is that classes count for both high school and college credits. 

Emily Schelling (12) said “I am currently taking Intro to Ethics online through Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). I enjoy freedom outside of the school to explore a new type of opportunity and a new way of schooling. It is otherwise challenging to always stay motivated. I am doing it because it looks good on my college applications and prepares me for college.” 

High school students that complete dual enrollment classes often take fewer classes in college and save a bit of money. Not all students are eligible for taking dual enrollment classes, though, as requirements vary by state. Nonetheless, CHS is lucky enough to have this opportunity for students looking to complete and earn some college class credits. 

These types of dual credit classes are offered by many colleges here locally, such as GRCC, Davenport University, Calvin College, and Aquinas. It is not that simple to become a dual enrollment student, as you must fill out an application on the Student Services page on the school website. In order to qualify, you must have achieved a passing score on the Michigan Merit Exam in the content area of the college course in which you want to enroll (incoming seniors), or on either PLAN or PSAT  tests and get approval from a counselor.

Before any student applies for dual enrollment, they must have exhausted all of the offerings available of the college course content offered at the high school. Avery Richards said “I talked to my counselor and filled out the application. Dual enrollment helps open up the doors to my future. By taking different classes in dural enrollment, I am able to find out what I have a passion for.” 

Students must also meet the requirements of the college or university in which they are enrolling. The students, as well as the parents, must agree to pay any additional tuition fees due to the enrolling institution beyond what the district agrees to pay. Also, any additional fees charged by the enrolling institution experience include but are not limited to enrollment fees, registration fees, matriculation fees, books, transportation, lab fees, material fees, and possibly printing fees. However, if you are taking a dual enrollment class course online, you may not need to pay some of these fees. Students and their parents must agree to repay the district tuition fees paid on the student’s behalf by the district if they would like to drop the course. 

Hunter Myers (12) said “I’m currently taking three classes through GRCC this semester!  Two are in person, which are Theatre Technology and Script Analysis, and one is online, which is Drawing 1. I really enjoy the freedom of the classes and the different atmosphere overall.”  They explained further that, “Plus, on the days I don’t have class, I have the afternoon to myself. The most challenging things for me have been the increased workload.  My art class in particular has at least 12+ hours of homework per week. I took a fairly accelerated pace through high school, so I actually ran out of English classes to take at the school and technically already have enough credits to graduate.  I just thought it would be a good chance to take advantage of the fact that the school pays for my classes as of now and get some of the basic classes needed for my planned major (BFA in Musical Theater) out of the way.”

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