By BOB PALMER
Dual credit classes allow Jefferson students to rack up college credit hours while finishing their high school work.
JISD Curriculum Director Lynn Phillips says the classes have increased in popularity.
“The growth in our dual credit program through the availability of more true dual credit courses (as opposed to concurrent enrollment) has been received very well by students, parents, and staff at JHS,” Phillips said.
“We have approximately 50 students taking dual credit coursework which includes Human Growth & Development, Medical Terminology, US History, Government, College Algebra, Professional Communications, and English,” Phillips amplified.
These offerings will change a little in the Spring and a Certified Nurses’ Aide program will be added in the Spring as well.
The dual credit classes count toward an Associates Degree at Panola Junior College.
“Students would want to pursue an Associate Degree in high school in order to get a head start on their future,” Phillips explained. “Many students start college after high school, but do not complete it beyond a semester or two. JHS offers a support system for students to help them be successful in their dual credit coursework, thus set them up for success when they get out of high school.”
Taking a dual credit course here and there does not guarantee the college of choice after high school will accept the course. They will accept an Associate Degree.
“In addition, students at JHS have the opportunity to finish high school as “core complete” which means that 43 hours of their course work will transfer (upon completion of the proper sequence of courses) to the state college or university of the student’s choosing,” Phillips explained.
JHS makes sure students get the support they need to succeed.
“Students in dual credit courses at JHS are provided with a classroom teacher who can assist them with questions as well as monitor their progress in their online courses,” Phillips amplified. “The students are typically grouped by the course they are taking online as well in order to allow them to support each other (sort of like a study group).”
Parents and guardians are asked to attend a dual credit meeting each school year so they better understand the course offerings, progression, and criteria for dual credit enrollment.
Students also enjoy the luxury of not having to travel to another town in order to take college classes.
“Students take their college coursework on the JHS campus either with a face to face professor or online with an online college professor and a classroom teacher certified in a related subject or who is able to provide the student with other supports as needed,” Phillips said.
Phillips offered a final reason to take dual credit classes.
“The University of Texas Austin claims that students (in general) who are successful in high school with taking dual credit coursework are more likely to be successful when they go to college after high school,” Phillips said.
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