Did you know that you can get college credits in high school? I started dual enrollment as a senior in high school, and I can honestly say it was a great decision for me. Because of the hard work I did in high school, I’m on track to graduate a semester early from college. This possibility is open to you too!
WHAT IS DUAL ENROLLMENT?
Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s talk about what dual enrollment actually is. According to Care Allen, Cornerstone University’s assistant director of early college programs, “Dual enrollment is a college course provided by a post-secondary institution to an eligible high school student for college credit.”
These programs are often offered through high schools that partner with local colleges. The beauty of our program at Cornerstone is that we allow public, private and homeschool students to have this opportunity. So whatever type of school you’re attending, there’s a chance you could dual enroll, too! Cornerstone offers dual enrollment credits in-person through the Grand Rapids campus.
WHY DUAL ENROLL?
Though each person’s experience is unique, I can say that I saw huge benefits, and I was not the only one. I talked to Makenna Tessler (B.S. ’22), a marketing major and sports management minor, about her experience dual enrolling with Cornerstone.
“During my dual enrollment classes, I was not treated like a high schooler who was coming to one or two classes a day,” said Tessler. “I felt accepted by the students and faculty and felt the love of Cornerstone’s community. It was easy to see how God was using the community at Cornerstone to provide a caring and accepting atmosphere for all.”
You see, it can go far beyond even receiving credit. The best part for me was getting an introduction to college.
Tessler agreed: “The dual enrollment classes that I took helped make the transition from high school to college easier than I expected.”
When you transition from dual enrollment to attending college as a full-time student, you will already have an idea of what classes will be like, reducing stress and giving you a kind of home-court advantage, so to speak.
I am not someone who handles change well, so transitioning to college was something that frightened me. Getting a taste of it in advance gave me a much better understanding of what these courses would look like. When I started at Cornerstone, I was ready for the next stage. I knew what to expect, so I came prepared!
“What I have learned from most students is they most enjoy the rigor of switching up from normal high school classes and gaining insight into the college experience,” said Care Allen. “Cost savings is also something I hear about from parents.”
Dual enrollment is also a great opportunity to connect with professors. It is never too early to start fostering your professional network, so enrolling in some college-level classes can introduce you to faculty that could support you in the future.
Additionally, when you move onto campus or start at a new school, it helps to already know someone there. You get an introduction to professors and faculty, but it is also a great opportunity to connect with your peers. Whether it is full-time college students that could be friends or mentors, or other dual enrollment students that could be future roommates, classes are a fantastic way to meet people.
If nothing else, dual enrollment allows you to get a taste of the school. Experiencing it directly may help aid you in your college decision. It offers insight the typical visits may not, though at Cornerstone, we encourage visitors to sit in on classes during our Golden Eagle Days.
Dual enrollment is not for everyone, but it might be for you! I encourage you to think about how you can get a head start on your future. Check out our dual enrollment FAQs and consider dual enrolling at Cornerstone!