Science Hill junior Madison Richmond looks over a paper

Science Hill junior Madison Richmond is currently enrolled in a dual enrollment class and said she hopes to take more during her time at Science Hill to get a start in college.

Dual enrollment a valuable option for Science Hill students to get head start in college

Science Hill senior Cecilia Hernandez hinted that she might have only one regret as she nears the end of her time in high school, not taking more dual enrollment classes.

“I wish I would have taken more, so that when I get to college, some of my general education classes would already be completed,” said the senior, who is currently enrolled in Floyd Brown’s Statistics class at Science Hill for dual enrollment credit. “Why wouldn’t you take dual enrollment? It’s a great opportunity to gain college credit while you’re still in high school.”

Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn college credit before they cross the stage to receive their high school diploma. While it may not be for all high school students, counselors suggest that students that qualify should take a hard look into taking dual enrollment classes.

“Dual enrollment can be a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to college level assignments while also experiencing a college atmosphere,” Science Hill Counselor Josh Jarnigan said. “Taking dual enrollment classes provides students the opportunity to begin earning college credit hours while still in high school which can provide opportunities to take other classes that may better fit their needs as college upperclassmen.”

Science Hill junior Madison Richmond is enrolled in a 15-week US History class online through ETSU, while also juggling extracurricular activities like basketball. She said that she hopes to take two or three more dual enrollment classes during her time at Science Hill.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and it is preparing me for college and seeing how all of that works,” Richmond said. “I feel like it is preparing me a lot as I take the next steps in my academic career.”

Her classmates also seem to have a similar enthusiasm about the program as Science Hill dual-enrollment students at both East Tennessee State University and Northeast State have increased substantially from a year ago. At ETSU, during the fall of 2017 there was an increase of 37% in dual enrollment overall from fall 2016, with 88 Science Hill students participating in dual-enrollment at ETSU.  

A combined effort from Northeast State and Science Hill administrators allowed students to travel to Northeast State’s downtown Johnson City location, which has helped increase enrollment to 98 students in the fall of 2016. And as of the census date for Fall 2017, there were 106 Science Hill students taking English Composition I at the Johnson City facility.

While the opportunity is there, it is also important for students to remember that they must work closely with their counselors in order to make sure they are eligible and to ensure that they register for the appropriate classes. It’s also important to make sure that they work closely with their counselors to ensure that all enrollment procedures are completed in a timely manner.

In addition, parents and students should be aware that not all students are academically or socially equipped to be successful in a college classroom, so families must carefully consider if dual enrollment is appropriate for their student.  If however, he/she is responsible and ready for the academic challenge; dual enrollment provides an excellent opportunity for the student to begin earning college credits while still being able to enjoy their high school experience.

Richmond said the extra effort she is putting forth in high school should help her down the road as she eyes a career in strategic communications.

“I chose to do dual enrollment for several reasons, the first being that I knew I could go ahead and get some of my general education classes out of the way for college,” Richmond said. “That way when I do get to college, I can take the things I am interested in and not spend more than four years getting my first degree.”