Dual enrollment helps school financially, students academically

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dual enrollment has dual benefits for schools and students in these tough economic times.

And with superintendents looking for innovative means to stretch a dollar and preserve the quality of education, they are taking advantage of any and all types of programs, including the dual enrollment programs offered in area high schools by both LBW Com-munity College and Enter-prise Ozark Com-munity College.

Dual enrollment classes allow high school students to take college-level classes and simultaneously earn high school and college credits.

Andalusia City Schools Interim Superintendent Ted Watson said about 23 students at Andalusia High School participated in off-campus dual enrollment at either LBW or EOCC last year.

“Students take pre-calculus and English on campus and calculus and psychology off campus,” he said.

Watson said students participating in the off-campus portion of dual enrollment help with the class size.

“It helps as far as class size, but it also helps us as far as available courses,” he said. “It helps our students, but it also pays dividends for us.”

The same can be said for Opp City Schools.

“We have approximately 50 or 60 students taking advantage taking advantage of dual enrollment opportunities at LBW,” superintendent Michael Smithart said. “Our students take English, biology, calculus and Spanish.”

English and biology are taught at LBW’s MacArthur campus, and OHS staff members teach college-level calculus and Spanish.

Smithart said the dual enrollment programs are extremely helpful to his system in light of the recent years of hard-hitting proration.

“The classes taught at LBW provide us a great deal of relief in that it reduces class size at OHS,” he said. “In light of the economic times, the dual enrollment vocational programs are a tremendous opportunity. Our students are eligible to take essentially any of the vocational programs offered at LBW MacArthur.”

LBWCC marketing director Renee LeMaire said programs such as practical nursing, automotive and diesel mechanics, air conditioning and refrigeration, welding, medical office assisting, child development, computer science, drafting and design and emergency medical are available on the career technical side.

“This allows our students to receive instruction of programs of study that can lead to high wage careers,” Smithart said. “At this time, a grant is providing tuition as well as textbooks for vocational students which means they receive top-quality training at no cost.”

Students across the county also participate in EOCC’s aviation program offered at the South Alabama Regional Airport.Dual