OC, SF high school students getting ahead in dual role
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 11:21 am
The Messenger 12.02.10
Imagine showing up on campus for your first day of college with a dozen or more credit hours already under your belt.
Thanks to dual enrollment offerings, it will be a reality for of a number of Obion County Central and South Fulton high school seniors next fall.
The classes in math, history and English count both toward high school and college requirements and are taught by instructors certified to teach college classes. These teachers have master’s degrees which include at least 18 credit hours in upper division classes in the subjects they instruct.
OCCHS offers Math 140 (college algebra) and 160 (applied calculus) and English 111 and 112. South Fulton High School offers math, English 1010 and 1020, and American History 2010 and 2020. Theoretically, an OCCHS senior could graduate high school with 12 college credits, while a SFM/HS senior could have as many as 18 hours.
At OCCHS, Lana Warren teaches English to 35 current dual enrollment students.
“The course is primarily focused on composition. Students submit a portfolio of 15 to 25 pages of their writing at the end of each semester,” Ms. Warren said. “Students also complete four novel projects each semester. These projects include power point presentations, original book covers and commercials.”
At SFHS, Charyl Craddock teaches college algebra and Greg Barclay teaches English. Barclay, who is in his third year of teaching dual enrollment, has 17 current students.
“My role in this class differs from my role in the other classes I teach because I am more of a facilitator in the dual enrollment class,” Barclay said. “The dual enrollment students are the higher achieving students at South Fulton, so they are already motivated to do well.”
Students are required to have at least a 3.0 GPA and at least a 19 on the reading and language section of the ACT to take dual enrollment classes, according to Barclay.
Tori Mitchell, a senior at OCCHS, is preparing for her future as a teacher by taking the dual credit enrollment through UT Martin. When she graduates in May, she will be ready to start the University of Tennessee at Martin next fall with six credit hours.
Miss Mitchell said she chose dual enrollment because she wanted to get a head start on the realities of university life.
“It’s helping me prepare for what college coursework will be like,” Miss Mitchell said. “It’s definitely more challenging than regular senior English with more independent work.”
Hope Montgomery is a senior at OCCHS and is currently enrolled in both dual enrollment math and English through UT Martin. She hopes to pursue a future in psychology or art at a liberal arts college, preferably at the College of Wooster in Ohio.
Miss Montgomery will have 12 hours at UT Martin when she graduates in May.
“I have friends already in college who tell me the dual enrollment math really helps with college calculus so even if my hours won’t transfer to the school I hope to attend, the preparation is still very helpful,” Miss Montgomery said.
Rebekah Carman is the dual enrollment Math 140 teacher at OCCHS. She said students are able to take their math in the high school setting where the teachers are less intimidating and the teacher student ratio is lower.
“Other big advantages of dual enrollment classes are the amount of time spent in the classroom, plus the book is provided by UTM,” she said. “Normally a college freshman would pay over $100 for the book when they are enrolled at UTM.”
The dual enrollment courses aren’t free, however. Students are paying normal college tuition to take the classes. In-state tuition at UT Martin is $259 per credit hour. One course can cost over $700 with added fees.
Barclay said during the past two years, government stimulus money has helped pay for the students’ classes.
“Also, students are able to receive a $300 Tennessee lottery grant each semester to be put toward their dual enrollment offerings. Whatever money is not covered by the lottery grant or stimulus money is each student’s responsibility,” Barclay said.
Alex Gallien is currently enrolled in dual enrollment English and history at South Fulton High School. That added financial accountability is something he understands.
“We’re given more responsibly than the everyday high school student and not just with more homework,” Gallien said. “The dual classes cost money unlike regular high school classes and that can definitely be a hassle in these economic times.”
After high school graduation, Gallien said he plans to spend a year at the Ramp School of Ministry in Hamilton, Ala.
“After a year down there, I plan to come back home and attend UTM and major in religion, English or maybe even do some studies in history,” Gallien said. “I really don’t know yet. I’m going to allow God to help me with that decision during my year at the Ramp.”
When he does decide, Gallien’s 12 dual enrollment hours earned in high school will be waiting for him at UT Martin.
Dual enrollment history at South Fulton is taught by Bill Gray, while Nancy Johnson teaches a section of dual enrollment English at OCCHS.
college credit hours, dual enrollment, Obion County Central High School, South Fulton High School