Students interested in graduating with college credits have the perfect opportunity here at Park High School through the Dual Enrollment program. There are only a select few classes a student can take to get the college credit. These classes are German 3-4, Spanish 3-4, Human Form and Function, Teaching and Learning, Computer Aided Drafting 1-2, Agricultural Metals 2, Technical Math and Contemporary Math.
The enrollment process is rather easy and practical. “The process is easy because the counselors are very helpful.” said senior Madison Fairchild, who is taking dual enrollment classes Teaching and Learning along with Contemporary Math. Counselors Abby Kinsey and Ardis Steinmitz break the whole process down and explain the benefits and gains of dual enrollment. First, you register as an MSU student, which means you receive a student ID and a college transcript. Once you have applied for dual enrollment, you will receive an acceptance letter and MSU ID card. The final step of the process is payment. A huge positive aspect of Dual Enrollment is the price. You get the same college credit as if you took the class on campus, but the price is more inexpensive here at Park High. For one class, one semester, an MSU class usually ranges from $800-$900. The class here ranges from about $100-$155.
You may wonder why only specific classes provide this opportunity, and why those classes are chosen. It is not actually the class itself, but the teacher. A certain criteria are required for a teacher to have the ability of teaching dual credit. Just like the students, teachers have to apply at the college to be a professor, and acquire a master’s degree in their subject field. For example, Daniel McGrath received a master’s degree in World Languages. McGrath’s teaching curriculum was also examined and compared to college curriculum.
Another important addition to dual enrollment is the partnership Park High has with Montana colleges. Although you enlist as a student at MSU Gallatin College, your credits can transfer anywhere in Montana.
“The college determines the type of credit, and all credits will transfer.” said Kinsey. By this, Kinsey means a different Montana college might count a language class as an elective credit, but MSU counts it as a University Seminar credit, which is a required class, or classes like Technical Math and Contemporary Math, which would count as credit in trades math for a 2-year school.
Through Park High school, students have the opportunity to graduate with college credit and be placed in more advanced classes before even going to college. This program is relatively new in our school, but additions and improvements are constantly being made. More classes are also being suggested to be added to the dual enrollment list of classes to further the opportunity of gaining early college credit.
By Claire Brown