• 59°

Program lets high school students earn college credit

If the normal high school workload isn’t enough for students, Demopolis High School and Alabama Southern have created a dual enrollment program to add to their learning experience.

Campus director of the Demopolis branch of Alabama Southern Community College Dr. Arthur Ogden and DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy have created the dual enrollment program for DHS students to earn both high school and college credit simultaneously.

Last night, parents and students gathered in the DHS library to get details of the opportunity.

“We don’t want to do anything to take away from the students overall experience,” Espy said, “We want to enrich it.”

The program will allow students to take up to two classes a day Monday through Thursday, giving them the opportunity to experience college life with higher learning students before they graduate, Ogden said.

“We are not going to bend the rules,” Ogden said, “We are going to bend them to meet the rules.”

The students will be required to attend Alabama Southern’s orientation at the start of each semester and their grades will count as three college credit hours. Earned grades will also be shown on the high school transcript and counted in the high school GPA.

“The Board of Education approved these 11 course,” Espy said. “If your child takes any of these course at any time before graduation, it will be included in the high school transcript.”

Students who wish to participate in the program will pay approximately $300 a class for tuition. They must also purchase their own books and supplies.

“Tuition here is 59 percent less, on average, than any four year college in the state of Alabama,” Odgen said. “And if the student is serious about doing this, they can earn that in 15 weeks at McDonalds or Wal-Mart.”

Ogden said he also has 10 groups willing to donate scholarships to students with financial need.

As a way to save his parents money, DHS junior Joseph Seale said he is going to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I want to spend less time in college and it’ll save them some money,” he said pointing to his parents, Larry and Nancy Seale. “I think it’ll be fun too.”

As a dual enrollment student, Seale plans to take public speaking and psychology at Alabama Southern before transferring his credits to Auburn University.

“This is a great program and we are thankful for this opportunity,” Larry Seale said.

Espy and Ogden will choose which courses are offered according to interest and hope to present the complete schedule in March.

To get a course interest survey, or to learn more about the dual enrollment program, contact Espy at 289-0294 or Ogden at the Demopolis branch of Alabama Southern.