Learning What You Want Made Easy!

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Have you ever been interested in specific topics that your average high school does not offer? Have you ever wanted to get a head start on a few credits for college to save money and time during college? Luckily for the driven students willing to go the extra mile to learn what they want to learn, dual enrollment is available. Dual enrollment gives high schoolers the opportunity to broaden their horizons and become a well rounded individual.

“It gives you a head start on any college course you might want to take, and allows you to learn things high school might not teach you,” stated sophomore, Mia Gustafson.

In my experience taking a dual enrollment course with Salem State University my sophomore year was great. I signed up for their criminal justice three month course when a school-wide email went out from administration. The class was held on Mondays, 6:00PM to 9:00PM at Amesbury High School. Going into the class, I knew the professor was going to treat us like college students, which meant graded homework, weekly tests and quizzes, and of course a silent room for optimal teaching.

“Dual enrollment gives students an idea of what full-time college coursework will be like,” noted StudyPoint.com, “by trying out a few classes while still in high school, your child can get used to the academic environment before he or she leaves the comfort and support of home.”

At first students I spoke with found it difficult to balance their school work and tests with the dual enrollment on top of it, as the dual enrollment class was now like a 7th core class, but as the weeks progressed, it became easier for them to keep track of their tasks and not get too overwhelmed.

“I took the Criminal Justice class my freshman year and it was interesting. It was really hard because it was a college class and I was a freshman, so it was scary but it was life changing because I learned what a college class was like,” stated junior, Bonnie Durante, “… It was nerve wracking and I would advise kids to take at least one class even if it’s something you may not like because its a good experience, but I’d wait until you’re at least a junior.”

Some students may not feel as though they are able to balance high school and a weighted college class, however if the class is something you are genuinely interested in, it is well worth your time as the experience will bring you that much closer to the college experience and what to expect in the near future.

“It (dual enrollment) prepares you for the future and also gives you higher chances of success,” mentioned junior Jessica Manganello.

Choosing to take the Criminal Justice class was almost like a rite of passage for me. Since I was a little kid, I had always wanted to be a detective or a forensic scientist and I thought that taking a criminal justice class along with a forensics class would better my chances of getting a career in that field. Dual enrollment gives you a taste of what you want to do so you can see if that is really what you want to do in your adult life. After taking the Criminal Justice class, I realized that was not the path I wanted to take.

One of the beautiful features of dual enrollment is that it gives you wiggle room to test the waters of specific topics to see if that is something you would be interested in majoring in in college, and gives you the opportunity to save time deciding that a certain field was not what you thought it would be earlier on. Dual enrollment classes are free to high schoolers which is a very valuable tool to further your education. This also means that if you attend a dual enrollment class as a high schooler, you get three college credits which saves money, time and also gives you high school credits which can bump up your GPA.

Afterall, there is no excuse for passing up the opportunity to take a dual enrollment class. There are many classes to choose from such as Psychology and Criminal Justice, and they are totally free for students to make the best out of a once in a lifetime opportunity.