Dual Enrollment Q&A set for Tuesday

Published 8:11 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

Dual Enrollment Meeting to be held at DHS Auditorium on Tuesday May 22 at 7 p.m.

An orthopedic surgeon. Two engineers. Two orthodontists. Three social workers. Four teachers. These are just a few examples of the future plans of the students who have participated in the dual enrollment program at the Demopolis Higher Education Center with the University of West Alabama.

On Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. in the DHS Auditorium, a meeting will be held to provide students and their parents with information about dual enrollment for the upcoming year. Superintendent Al Griffin, Principal Leon Clark, DHS Counselors, and Angelia Mance and others from the University of West Alabama will be available to answer questions and assist students with the registration process.

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The participants from Demopolis High School for the 2011-2012 school year included Sutton Aiken, Kate Boland, Logan Boone, Mary Byars, Jazmin Campbell, Haley Chase, Trent Cook, Avery Duckworth, Sydney Hill, Logan Holley, Kenisha Jackson, Ben Key, Jack Key, Malcolm Merriweather, Cecilynn Shields, William Stewart, Louis Steudeman, Mark Thornhill, and Alex Wright.

Participating students earned up to 18 college credit hours each for the year. UWA awarded approximately $7,500 total each semester in dual enrollment scholarships to these deserving students.

Scholarships are earned based on a sliding scale for their ACT score. An ACT score of 19 is required to enter the program, and UWA scholarships range as follows:

ACT 19-20 $175 per semester

ACT 21-24 $325 per semester

ACT 25-27 $400 per semester

ACT 28 + $550 per semester

At Senior Honors Day, held May 11, twenty-two DHS Seniors received scholarships from the University of West Alabama to attend college this fall, ranging from $6,000 to $40,000. Many of those students were participants in the dual enrollment program.

Students also received dual enrollment scholarships from CEMEX, Rotary Club, and RockTenn. These awards were based on the number of credits earned. If a student took the maximum number of courses available, they received roughly $300.00 toward their tuition and books.

Even without the scholarship funds, the cost savings are impressive. Cost per credit hour for courses at Auburn University and the University of Alabama are approximately $324 versus $268 at the University of West Alabama. For a full semester, that ‘s a savings of almost $700 each semester, or $1400 per year, plus the cost of room and board.

Aside from the obvious savings Angelia Mance, Director of the Demopolis Higher Education Center states that there are many other benefits. “Not only do the students save money and time and obviously earn college credits, they get a head start on navigating the college environment. They become knowledgeable in using online learning platforms such as Blackboard (which most colleges use). They mature as they learn to take responsibility for registration and filing financial aid forms and obtaining textbooks. Their time management skills improve as they balance high school and college course work and their extracurricular activities. Most of our students in the program will enter college as a sophomore. And as the students have pointed out to me, they are excited to not only have earned the credits, but to be able to have privileges not available to freshman at some colleges, such as having a car on campus.”

For this coming year, the dual enrollment program is being expanded to include Math, and possibly English and History. Students have been very excited about the prospect, and have good things to say about the program. Logan C. Holley, Valedictorian of his Senior Class, was one satisfied participant. “I am very happy that I got to be part of dual enrollment because aside from the credits, the teachers were great to work with and they helped me get the most out of my studies.”

Mance states that the dual enrollment program is an example of an effort that ‘takes a village’ to operate. “We have UWA providing scholarships and working to meet the high school schedules. Our community has generously supported the program with donations. People like Chuck Smith have been strong advocates at every level. The Superintendent and School Board have worked hard for this. Mr. Clark and Mrs. Nichols and others at the high school have worked hard on the scheduling process to accommodate the students’ needs, and of course the teachers have worked to support and accommodate the students as well. It’s very much a team effort.”

The requirements for participating in the dual enrollment program include being a Junior or a Senior, having a “B” average and an ACT score of 19, and students must have passed all portions of the high school graduation exam, and have the approval of the principal. Students and their parents are encouraged to attend Tuesday night’s meeting at the Demopolis High School Auditorium. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.