More than likely, you’ve heard your parents talk about you going to college, especially if you’re in high school. You may feel excited, nervous, happy, or even sad about starting college and leaving behind your childhood. You may have to work to cover the costs of college, and depending on the degree you want, you may have to spend even longer in school just to get the career you desire. However, what if there were a way to start college early?
Dual enrollment is a program for high schoolers to begin taking college classes early. Some community colleges may even offer free tuition for dual-enrollment students. This is a practical and time-saving way to achieve your goals without cutting corners, whether tuition at the college is free or not. As a fifteen-year-old junior in high school aiming for a Bachelor’s degree, I find this to be a smooth and efficient way to begin my education and pursue my Associate’s in Arts degree.
Dual enrollment is particularly advantageous for students at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) if the college offers online classes. Since FLVS students are already accustomed to taking courses online, completing their work on time, and utilizing lessons, practice assignments, and videos to learn the material, they are well-prepared for online college courses. However, college courses, whether online or in-person, have due dates and often require lengthy textbooks and lectures, which are typically much longer than an average FLVS lesson.
One difference between FLVS and online community college is how assignments are completed. At FLVS, typically, there is one lesson for every assignment. After completing the lesson, students submit the assignment. However, with online college, although approaches may vary depending on the teacher and class, students are not usually given lessons for every assignment. Instead, they are provided with a list of pages or chapters to read, and they complete the assignments after reading all the materials and watching the lectures.
College students usually do not have a set number of assignments to submit every week. At FLVS, if you turn in two assignments per week when asked to turn in three, it is usually not a significant issue. However, in college, whether dual-enrolled or not, if an assignment is late even by minutes, a 0% grade is usually assigned, and second chances or excuses are rare. Final exams are usually open-book, as well as quizzes and other assignments in the course, but this can vary depending on the class and the instructor.
Although dual enrollment can be time-consuming, it remains an effective way to get a head start on your education. Every college has its own rules and regulations, but some colleges allow students as young as sixth grade, with at least one high school class, to start dual enrollment. However, it is up to you, your parents or guardians, and your guidance counselor to determine if you are ready to embark on the path to success through dual enrollment.