Dual credit courses are extremely beneficial to students still in high school. Dual credit can give you a headstart that will not only help you earn credit for college, but can help you know what to expect for your first year of college. It can be really overwhelming to start college classes while still in highschool, but it’s helpful in the long run.
What is Dual Credit?
Dual credit courses allow you to be enrolled in both your high school and a college to get credits that go towards finishing high school and gain credits towards college. While dual credit classes are difficult and can make your last years of high school more stressful, it helps you out a lot as a freshman in college.
The Importance of Dual Credit:
Dual credit classes are a great opportunity to earn your final credits for high school, while getting a headstart on your credits in college. Some of the basic benefits of dual credit courses are that it saves money, prepares you for what’s to come in college, and it can take away a lot of the general education classes you have to have in college. My dual credit courses were paid through KHEAA, meaning I got several credits for high school and college without having to pay for them. Dual credit prepares you for the academic aspect of college. Learning what to expect and how to pass a college course is going to make your college classes as a freshman so much easier and less stressful. Lastly, you can get some of your general education courses finished so you can focus on major specific courses when you’re in college. Here is a video with lots of information on some of the benefits of being a dual credit student. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VahhdUYmQk
What Classes Look Like:
When I took dual credit here at UPike, I had one class on campus which was College Algebra, and one class at my high school’s campus that was taught by a teacher there, but the curriculum came straight from the same class from UPike, which was College Music. I also had a class through another college online, which was English I and II. For my class on campus, we were required to be there every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 8-8:50 and then we had recitation sessions on Thursday at the same time. Our class had a lot of students from my high school, but there were still several college students in the class. My professor at UPike was really understanding and was easy to talk to if we needed help. They know that you’re high school students, and they’re there to help you if you have problems.
Where to Go:
My class was in the Armington building towards the back of the campus. On our first day we were escorted to class, but after that we were pretty much left to fend for ourselves. We had the option to ride a bus to campus or drive ourselves. The bus let us off on the street where the Armington building was, so it was pretty easy to find it from there, but the first time I drove to campus I was completely lost and had to call one of my friends. The smartest thing to do if you’re going to drive to class, is to get there 10-15 minutes before your class starts, so you have plenty of time. Park in the parking garage, the best place to park in my opinion is as close as you can get to the 3rd floor of the parking garage because that’s the floor that the pedway to the elevator is. If you can’t find parking on the 3rd floor, park as close to the stairwell in the parking garage as you can get. After you park, go through the pedway into the Record Memorial building. When you walk through the door, there are two elevators to the left. Take the elevator to the 6th floor and walk out the glass doors. These doors go straight to Benefactor’s Plaza. In front of you should be the Administration Building. If your class is in Armington, you’re going to walk on the left side of the Administration building. Across the bridge is the Armington building. Below I’ve included a map of the campus, with a highlighted route you should take to access the Armington building.
What to Expect:
College classes through dual credit are not like the classes you’re used to in high school. They are more demanding and require you to work outside of the classroom just as much as you do in the classroom. Take notes and make sure you pay attention in class. UPike does two eight-week blocks in a semester, so you have to make sure you don’t fall behind because there isn’t much time to catch back up. Work ahead when you get the chance to, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s helpful to work ahead when you get a chance to, especially during weeks you have a lot of work due. You also have to make sure your assignments and homework are turned in on time, because your professors don’t remind you about them the way teachers in high school do. When you have tests and quizzes, if you expect to do well, you need to study and make sure you understand what you learn in class, from your textbook, and from other outside sources.
I didn’t feel like I got a lot of information about dual credit before I started. It was really confusing and nerve wracking. I wish that I would’ve had more inside knowledge about what a college class was like before I started taking four as a high school senior. I never realized the difference between my high school classes and college classes until I realized how difficult and complex college classes were. I went in with the mindset that they were the same, and I didn’t need to work ahead or study. I started slipping in my college classes and I fell behind and struggled a lot. Just be aware that these classes are time consuming and require a lot more effort than anyone tells you about. Dual credit is rewarding, but takes a lot more work than you’re used to.
- R. (Producer). (2015). Is Dual Enrollment Right For You? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VahhdUYmQk
- U. (2020). UPike Map [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://map.upike.edu/