Dual enrollment offers college experience in high school

Emma Gage, Reporter

Most students think that classes from one school is enough to fill their schedule, let alone two.  While the idea may be daunting, dual enrollment allows students to take classes for both high school as well as college.

Bellevue West counselor Susan Polk said that dual enrollment has something to offer for all students and covers a wide variety of courses available.

“We have programs for students who are planning just to earn a certificate, all the way up through students planning to attend medical school,” Polk said.

Some students, like senior Morgan James, are taking full advantage of these course offerings.

“I did AP Physics and AP Psych,” James said. “But I’m going to try to do Government, AP Stats, and possibly AP Calc if UNO does it.”

Fitting all of the classes into their schedule is something that many students worry about.

“Our dual enrollment program with UNO is taught here at the high school, so it doesn’t really affect their scheduling except to get into those courses,” Polk said.

Bellevue West counselor Molly Moore explained how dual enrollment with Metropolitan Community College (Metro) works.

“They’re here for their core classes then they leave and take particular courses in [their] career fields,” Moore said.

Polk agreed that dual enrollment could benefit students in many ways.

“You can get started on college credits for about a fourth of the price that you would pay if you were actually taking the college class,” Polk said. “ It gives you really good preparation and exposure to what that college is going to be like.”

However, there are also some negatives to being enrolled in two schools.

“I find myself doing a lot more homework,” James said. “After doing homework after volleyball I just go to bed.”

Moore believes that despite the challenges, dual enrollment could benefit all students.  The dual enrollment courses through UNO becomes part of a transcript for the college even though the class is taken at Bellevue West.

“If you’re eligible and you’re taking the class and you can get college credit you know it’s going to benefit you,” Moore said.

For students interested in starting the dual enrollment program through Metropolitan Community college, applications . The deadline for dual enrollment through UNO is Wednesday, Sept. 13.

“Talk with a counselor about what classes are available for dual enrollment and then of course talk to parents about that decision,” Polk said. “Most dual enrollment does have a cost to it. [They should] look at their grades and their credits and make sure that they’re on track with everything to be able to do well in the dual enrollment course.”