High schoolers taking College classes

Should High School Students Take College Classes?

dual enrollment college credits during high school

Is Dual Enrollment the Right Choice?

The advantages of participating in a dual enrollment program are many. Research done by the Community College Research Center shows that students who take college courses while in high school have an increased rate of 4-year university enrollment as well as higher GPAs in college.

Before opting for dual enrollment, it's a good idea for students to consider the potential social and emotional challenges that can come with taking college courses during high school. Even the most socially well-adjusted and academically talented high school students can struggle with the unique pressures of college. For this reason, it's a good idea for individuals to talk with parents, teachers and counselors about some of the hardships they may face. It's important for students to understand the demands of just one college course.

Finding the Right Fit

One way to increase the chances of high school students' college success is to identify the right dual enrollment program. Some individuals will feel most comfortable in a community college setting, while others may be ready to attend classes at a 4-year college or university. Many high schools have programs on campus taught by high school teachers who are certified adjunct professors. Regardless of locale, students should enroll in institutions that offer support services, such as tutoring and counseling. It can often be helpful for individuals to attend classes with other high school students.

Start Small

It's a good idea for students to start small when taking college courses during the high school years. Individuals might take a single class through the dual enrollment program to gauge their ability to complete postsecondary coursework. Prior to enrolling in a course, students should factor in travel time and costs that may limit their abilities to meet college commitments. Furthermore, taking a lot of higher ed classes can cause high school students to miss out on important social and community events. Online college courses may be an option for students who don't want to miss these happenings.

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