A factor that causes students to drop out of college is the cost of classes or the lack of credits needed in order to graduate. In high school, dual enrollment courses are offered that enable a high school students to take a college level class, pay a relatively lower price for the course, and receive college credit for the course that can be used at most community colleges and universities. Students who take dual enrollment in high school have a proven higher graduation rates from college. Going into college with college credits benefits the student in many ways. The student can either start out freshmen year in college with minimal classes in order to proceed to the next year, and some students (depending on how many college credits they have) can start college as a sophomore. Another advantage to taking dual enrollment classes in high school is the fact that you still have a high school teacher as your “professor.” Unlike college, you can have one-on-one time with your teacher and have personal help on your assignments to ensure that passing the class will be no problem. AP, or College classes, as they are called in high school, cost much less than paying for credit hours in college.
Dual enrollment classes give students a “running start” into college. “Dual enrollment programs are thought to increase the likelihood of students attending and graduating from college” (Cowan and Goldhaber 7). Students should be informed of the opportunities they have from taking part in dual enrollment classes. One of the main benefits a student can reap from taking a dual enrollment class is saving money. “dual enrollment programs often represent substantial subsidy to students toward the cost of a college degree” (7). Dual enrollment classes are offered in high school for considerably less that what it is offered for in college. Also, being taught college-level curriculum in a high school environment is beneficial to the student in many ways. Having one-on-one time with the teacher and learning how to do something the way the student will need to do it in college is beneficial in having a “running start” into college. When students know about dual enrollment classes, it influences their decision in their future. “Dual enrollment programs may play a similar role for some students by providing them with low-cost information about their ability to succeed in college before making the more costly decision to enroll full time (Cowan and Goldhaber 8-9). Students can grasp the basics of how a class in college will be taught and what will be expected of them, so students who participate in dual enrollment in high school enter college with a better understanding of what is necessary to succeed in college.
Students who have high knowledge skills and normally excel in school should sign up for dual enrollment programs. They can receive credit to graduate high school, and also college. Just attaining a high school diploma or having your GED does not guarantee a middle-class job in this day in age. People need some soft of college degree to obtain a sustainable job that can support them as an individual or them and their family. If students take dual enrollment classes in high school, from freshmen to senior year, they can perpetually start college as a sophomore or start their freshmen year in college with minimal credits to achieve. “There is evidence of success among dual enrollment programs in improving dropout rates and helping move more students onto a college bound track” (Hoffman, Lefkowits, James 1). If more students signed up for dual enrollment programs, the dropout rate in colleges would decrease due to more students understanding what is expected of them in a college environment as well as the completion of college and not dropping out due to stress related factors. As well as reducing college dropout rates, according to Donna James, Laura Lefkowits, and Robin Hoffman’s research, it also reduces high school dropout rates. One of the many, but most obvious benefits of dual enrollment is the reduction of the total cost of post secondary education for cash-strapped students or families. Dual enrollment programs are an option for every student, they are not required. There are always proposals to make dual enrollment required for at least one year, or at least once class in high school. In Donna James, Laura Lefkowits, and Robin Hoffman’s research, they state that in October 2011, Jennifer Dounay Zinth presented her proposal at the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships stressing the importance of dual enrollment in reducing dropout rates in colleges and high schools across America. In her proposal, she suggests that most, if not all, colleges work with each other and with high schools to accept dual enrollment credits from every high school even if the student is coming from out of state (5). This would make it easier on the student when it comes to college because they won’t have to retake classes or worry if the college they are wanting to attend will accept their credits. Zinth’s proposal will also help with tuition costs because going out of state for college is already a costly thing to do.
Dual enrollment is beneficial to students’ post secondary education as well as the schools offering dual enrollment, dual credit, and college classes. According to Melinda Mechur Karp, Katherine L. Hughes, and Maria Cormier’s research, in 2010-2011, 16,404 high school students were enrolled in dual enrollment classes. They also state that in the same year, over 6,000 students participates in dual credit courses. Students participate in dual enrollment and dual credit classes because it will benefit them in many ways. “Students who participate in dual enrollment have a better understanding of collegiate expectations, and are more likely to graduate from high school, and are more likely to enroll in college than similar students who do not participate” (Cormier, Hughes, Karp 1). Dual enrollment is also a good decision because it is not just offered in high school. According to Melinda Mechur Karp, Katherine L. Hughes, and Maria Cormier’s research, in North Carolina, it is offered at high school, in college (to get credit for graduate schools), and online. So, if a student cannot fit dual enrollment classes into their schedule because it is too full, they can take it online and finish it on their own time and go to a facility to take the test to see if they are going to receive credit for that class. In some cases, students don’t even have to test for the credit, as long as they keep a certain grade or G.P.A, they will automatically receive credit for the class because they paid tuition for the class.
Dual enrollment programs have been very successful in Texas. “Several counties in Texas have been highlighted in the news and in educational resources as case studies for low-income success of dual credit programs” (Appleby et. al. 36). Texas’s state government grants funding to high schools throughout different counties of Texas in order to purchase college-level textbooks and supplies for the dual credit classes, and the school and the state makes the funding back from students signing up for the classes, paying the tuition fee, attending college thereafter, and getting a satisfying occupation putting money back into their state. Jame’s Appleby and his colleagues find that in Texas, 12.8 percent of a students college is already payed for due to the students participation in dual credit classes in high school. So, when students from texas go to college, they won’t have to worry about over paying for college classes, or paying a pocketful for tuition.
Dual enrollment is the best aid in reducing dropout rates in college. It also reduces dropout rates in high school so students can go on to receive a higher education and put money back into the economy by obtaining a satisfying occupation that can support college, bills, lift, etc. If the government, or state governments were to grant more money to schools for textbooks, supplies, and better education programs (dual enrollment, dual credit, AP classes, etc.) schools, universities, community colleges and individual states would make the granted money back plus so much more. There would also be an increased amount of the population with some sort of degree that can be used to pursue a profession occupation because of the decreased dropout rates in America.
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