Dual enrollment enhances learning experiences

BY ILYSSA MANN

Through the dual enrollment program, junior and senior students at the Bay have the ability to take college-level courses outside of school instead of in school. Many students, such as junior Sydney Ure, take advantage of this opportunity.

“I [am taking] United States (U.S.) History online because I want to learn how to study online with a virtual teacher,” Ure said. “I know that there will be a time in college when I have to take a class or two online, and I think this will prepare me.”

Due to her dual enrollment, Ure gets her fourth period off as a privilege period.  She said she takes advantage of the extra time in the afternoon by going straight home and getting her homework done.

“I do not like to slack,” Ure said. “I get my homework done first, and then it allows me to have time in the later afternoon for things like exercising or extra study time for an upcoming test.”

Because Ure has taken all of her classes at the Bay for the past two years, she said switching it up this year meant adjusting to new changes.

“Enrolling in this class has tested my organization skills a lot. You don’t have a teacher reminding you of what and when something is due,” Ure said. “[Therefore], if you do not plan right, then you can end up having mounds of work to do at once.”

Although Ure said dual enrollment has been great so far, she said there are some disadvantages. Without having a physical classroom, she said it can be difficult to stay on track.

“What is really cool about the class is that it finishes in October, but a huge disadvantage of it is that you have to teach yourself everything,” Ure said. “It is challenging to teach yourself a topic that you don’t yet know, but I meet up with other friends who are also taking the class and we learn it together.”

College adviser Shari Bush said she works with many students that dual enroll each year and recognizes the advantages of it.

“I think [dual enrollment] is a good fit for some students,” Bush said. “They can dual enroll and use it to help their grade point average, and some students will take numerous college classes to try and achieve their Associate of Arts degree.”

Dual enrollment has been available at the Bay for at least ten years, as Bush said the school wanted to give students the opportunity to take classes not offered here. She said it is a great program because it teaches students more than just the class itself.

“Dual enrolling teaches students how to be an adult in a college class and [about the] responsibilities that then go with a college class,” Bush said. “Specifically, it is showing up to class on time, turning things in on time or if it is an online class, it means being diligent about checking their class often.”

However, Bush said there are certain issues students need to be able to handle to have this opportunity, including time management, organization and commitment to the class.

“These classes do concern me a bit because sometimes students are taking them while they are taking multiple classes here at the Bay. They do not pay attention to [the dual enrollment] classes as much as they should,” Bush said. “If they end up doing poorly in any of these classes, the grade goes with them to college.”

Like Ure, junior Katalina Enriquez is also dual enrolling in U.S. History because she said she enjoys learning material at her own pace. Moreover, she said she wants to have more available time after school for her other rigorous courses and for dance.

“Having extra time in my schedule leaves me more wiggle room to be flexible with my time,” Enriquez said. “It has taken such a huge amount of stress off my shoulders.”

Because of her positive experience with dual enrollment, Enriquez said she recommends that upcoming juniors and seniors dual enroll and that other schools adopt the program.

“Students that will be juniors and seniors next year should definitely look into dual enrollment. It has been so good for me this year. I feel so much more relaxed and relieved now that I have this extra time to fit everything into my day,” Enriquez said. “Dual enrollment has given me the opportunity to learn from outside sources and I think that other students at different schools should have the same opportunity.”

Whether it is extra time for dance or for herself, Enriquez said dual enrollment has been nothing but beneficial to her.

“I am thankful that The Bay offers dual enrollment because my time taking it so far has been so much more valuable than I initially thought it would be,” Enriquez said. “I seriously cannot imagine going back to a school schedule that does not have dual enrollment.”

 

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