DHS, UWA okay dual enrollment

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Students at Demopolis High School will have an opportunity to begin their college careers without leaving the comforts of high school next year. A recent vote by the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education approved a proposal to launch a new dual-enrollment partnership between Demopolis High School and the University of West Alabama.

“The way I look at it is that it is an opportunity for a graduating senior to leave high school as a college sophomore at a very modest price,” DCS Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin said of the initiative.

“Any student that comes into this program as a junior will be able to graduate high school with credits that will classify them as a late sophomore or early junior in college,” Demopolis High principal Leon Clark said of the program’s design. “They will have to be committed both years in order to reach that status.”

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The initiative will allow DHS juniors and seniors to enroll in collegiate classes at the Demopolis Higher Education Center while also receiving elective credits for their high school coursework.

“They are going to be able to take two courses in the fall and two courses in the spring during first and second periods, and these will be elective credits toward their high school requirements,” Clark said.

The optional program will be available to students who meet a list of requirements and can procure the funding for the tuition.

“They have to have a B average,” Clark said. “They must be in line with their graduation exams and they have to meet UWA’s ACT requirement, which is a minimum of a 17.”

The program costs $3,600 per year, including textbooks and fees. While funding the coursework is the responsibility of the students and their parents, scholarships are available. UWA offers scholarships based upon ACT scores.

A student with a 19 or 20 on the ACT is entitled to $175 per semester. A 21 to a 24 gets a student $325 per semester. Those with a 25-27 on the test get $400 per semester while those with at least a 28 can receive $550 per semester.

“Basically, it puts them in the position where they can go ahead and start getting some of their college credits out of the way and spread out the cost of college,” Clark said.

Students in the program will be monitored while attending classes off campus, per the agreement between DHS and UWA.

“The agreement is that students will be totally monitored with coursework, with their grades and also with attendance,” Clark said.

The entities will team up Thursday night for an informational meeting to begin the process of signing students up for the program.

“We do have a meeting Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium for those parents who have children that qualify for the program,” Clark said. “Representatives from UWA and from the Demopolis High School staff will be present to give all information needed.”

The program is open to high school juniors and seniors each year.