How do you choose dual enrollment classes?
One option for saving time and money in college is to enroll in a dual enrollment program. Typically this is where high school students can simultaneously complete high school and take some college classes during their junior and senior years. Some students even manage to complete their high school education and earn an associate’s degree at the same time. In some states, students can practically go to college for free while in high school. We highly recommend even a few dual enrollment courses while in high school.
Because we did our homework, our youngest daughter was able to start college with enough credits to complete 4 years in 3, saving both time and money. She knew her major, and she knew what college she wanted to attend. First, we looked at a sample degree completion guide and what community college and AP/CLEP test credits the university accepted. With this information, she could choose dual enrollment courses that would benefit her not just earn her college credits.
Using the sample course completion guide for her major, we mapped out her dual enrollment schedule for her last 2 years of high school. Like all things, we could not predict what she could actually take each semester until the enrollment catalog opened up. Had she changed her major or college, much of this would still have been very helpful as it was all general education classes.
If your student is unsure about everything, we would just recommend starting with something that does not have a prerequisite and in a topic that is mildly interesting. Maybe do 1 or 2 classes the first semester. Some offer 8 week classes and some are 16. In our area, for the very first registration time, you will also have to go on campus to register for classes. After that, the student can do everything online. Our youngest daughter took 1-2 college classes at a time each semester she could, including summers. She only chose online classes. She also got early release/late arrival at her high school when she could work that out with her class schedule. In our area, high school students are not allowed to stay on campus when they are not in class and dual enrollment courses do not count. She did not take any science thru the community college as that would mean scheduling a lab class on campus, and she preferred taking online courses around her internship and work schedule.
Students will have to pay for books, any minor fees such as parking pass or id card, but the tuition is free in our town. Our daughter saved quite a bit of money by doing dual enrollment and was able to graduate from college in 3 years instead of 4. Our daughter did not take crazy amounts of Advanced Placement courses or many community college classes as some parents want their kids to do. We just were really intentional about WHAT she took.
Even if your student just takes a few classes, it should open up the freshman college schedule to take some more in a particular major or a fun elective. While each student, state, and college is different, we highly recommend dual enrollment as a way to save time and money in college and test the waters of rigor and readiness during the launching years.
Tailored Search Terms: dual enrollment in _____ (name of your state or city)
Here’s what it looks like in my county, Wake Country, North Carolina.
Here’s the link to the College and Career promise site for Wake Tech Community College in North Carolina.
Here’s a typical checklist of classes a student could take.
Here’s the transfer equivalency page link. Most of the basic gen ed classes should easily transfer anywhere.
Here’s a sample degree completion guide for a 4 year degree in Public Health at East Carolina University
NOTE: If any of these links are out of date or broken, do a tailored search on your own with similar terms and find up to date information in your own area. Schools are constantly updating their information pages.
Table Talk: How did you save time or money in college? What high school courses do you wish you did or did not take?