A dual-credit program can improve your college experience by exposing you to content and experiences that are not offered in a traditional high school setting. High school students who are enrolled in these programs are taking real college courses on real college campuses and experiencing a real college environment — before they go to college themselves! If you are a student who is currently in or about to be in 11th or 12th grade, you may have several reasons for being interested in a dual-credit program. These can include feeling exhausted from the amount of busy work given in a typical Advanced Placement (AP) course, wanting to be around other like-minded young adults, or wanting more flexibility in your weekly schedule. No matter your reasoning for enrolling, choosing a dual-credit program will help you personally, academically, and socially on your college journey.
If you are used to being responsible for “getting things done,” a dual-credit program is perfect for you. Your sense of responsibility will be a strong advantage as you complete an academic plan, schedule your own college courses, choose an academic major, follow a college course syllabus, set up meetings with your counselor, apply for graduation, and more. The responsibilities involved with attending a dual-credit program will help you sharpen your skills — or build them to begin with. If you’re someone who may need more hand-holding, a dual-credit program offers you the opportunity to get on track and build successful habits in a supported environment so that you have the necessary skills when you graduate from high school.
If you are a student who is taking AP classes, you are responsible for attending a minimum of one hour of class per day and are regularly assigned 45 minutes to an hour of homework to complete at night. This is true for each AP course you are taking, and, on top of that, there’s a chance that you may not score high enough on the AP exam at the end of the course for your college to grant you any college credits. That is a tremendous amount of time and effort with no guarantee! By enrolling in a dual-credit program instead of taking AP courses, you get a real college experience that results in college credits if you pass your classes.
It is important to keep in mind that you don’t need to be taking AP courses to decide to enroll in a dual-credit program. Many students with GPAs that are as low as 2.0 make the decision to improve their academic lives by enrolling and getting an early start on their college experience.
A dual-credit program is an opportunity to break away from the cliques and other social pressures that can be found in a traditional high school setting. Enrolling in a dual-credit program often involves changing schools (as you begin taking college courses), which results in a reset on your social life. You’ll have the opportunity to join college clubs, support others with similar interests, and connect with a new set of people. Dual-credit programs that include social activities and promote new experiences will help you be more ready for your college experience after high school. You’ll be better equipped to connect socially with your peers and grow your circle of friends who understand what you are trying to accomplish and are there to support you along the way.
Consider enrolling in a dual-credit program to improve your future college experience personally, academically, and socially.