Attending Classes in College as a High School Student

What's it like to be dual-enrolled?

Are dual enrollment courses on the path to your high school diploma?

Are dual enrollment courses on the path to your high school diploma?

You’re probably familiar with the debate concerning dual enrollment and advanced placement classes. Many highlight the tyrannical monopoly of the College Board as reason enough to stay away from AP’s and obtain early college credit through dual enrollment, but AP classes are overwhelmingly more accessible. Advanced Placement classes are available in the vast majority of high schools in the United States, and are free for students who attend public school. But, as students of Magnet, we already pretty familiar with the merits of AP classes.

Today, I’m going to explore the alternative, so that we can determine the merits of dual credit classes according to high school students who are currently enrolled in college.

First, I talked with senior Chase Mitchum, who takes Spanish 344 at College of Charleston about his experience:

“I was really nervous going into the class at the beginning of the year, but there are only 8 students in my class, and I was with another AMHS student, Gabby.

As far as the structure of the class Chase says that he has pop quizzes everyday and that it’s an “inside out classroom.” Chase also says that his experience makes him more excited to be an actual college student because of the, “small, intimate, class sizes.”

What’s your favorite part about taking a dual enrollment classes?

Chase: “I have two focuses! Or foci.”

If you had the option to take your current AP classes at a community college instead, would you?

Chase: “No, I like being around my friends at Magnet and AP classes are more tailored to high schoolers.”

I then got Kevin Boyd’s opinion. He has been taking classes at Trident Tech for the past two years. He has taken Spanish 101, Spanish 202, Human Growth and Development (PSY 203), and he will take Anat and Physiology 1 & 2 (BIO 210 & 211) next semester. Kevin explained his course selection: “I wanted to take AP Bio my senior year, so I took Spanish 3 times in my junior year so I wouldn’t have to take it my senior year.” Looks like he really wanted to take AP Bio. “I really did!”

I like dual enrollment because it allowed me to change my schedule and take AP Bio”

— Kevin

Here is a little bit of our conversation:

Does being in a college class make you more or less excited to be a full-time college student?

Kevin: “I am looking forward to college because the courses are a lot more free.” I hope Kevin knows that college courses are, in fact, not “more free”. They’re actually really expensive.

“That’s not what I meant! What I mean is it’s not so demanding. You have the opportunity to do work at your own pace. At least in my case.” Whatever that means.

If you had the option to take your current AP classes at a community college instead, would you?

Kevin: “Yes.” *Laughs* “Because, Magnet AP classes are SO MUCH harder than dual classes at Trident. I could take, like, electrical engineering or something at Trident and it would still be a breeze, shocking, in fact.” *makes ba-dum-tss noise*. I hope Kevin’s confidence in himself takes him farther than that joke.

I think what we’ve learned today is that dual enrollment classes are a great option for students who want to take specific courses that are unavailable at their high school, or in cases such as Kevin’s, in which dual enrollment allowed him to take a class that wouldn’t otherwise fit in his schedule. Other than specific situations where dual enrollment is necessitated, it probably makes more sense to just stick with Advanced Placement classes.

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