If there’s one thing we STEM learners have in common, it’s that we enjoy endless opportunities; there’s always something new to learn and delve into. With STEM, it’s never too early to begin learning and practicing. The earlier you start, the more ground you cover, and the more you can build your resume!
This concept of starting as soon as you can is especially helpful and appealing to motivated high schooler students who have a natural inclination for the sciences or even those who are just curious about the world around them. If you are considering college, there are programs and institutions in place that offer high school students the ability to gain a competitive advantage by allowing them to take advanced STEM courses while still in high school. This is called Dual Enrollment.
In short, Dual Enrollment is when high school students take college-level courses and receive both college and high school credits at the same time. This not only gives them a jump-start in their college career but also helps them explore more subjects at an early age before committing to a degree. Another beneficial side of Dual Enrollment is that it basically sets students up for success educationally and financially – something incredibly essential for minorities and low-income students.
Dual Enrollment programs differ by state, so it’s very important to check out the requirements needed – here is a helpful link. But to gain an insight into how the Dual Enrollment Program works, we’ve compiled some of the best and most interesting programs:
Community College of Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Department of Education has been working with the Community College of Rhode Island to offer high school students higher-level courses in STEM areas in order to gain college credit. The courses offered include Human Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Soil Science, and Chemical Technology. To participate, the student must be typically a junior or senior and must pass a CCRI Accuplacer Test. Here are some links with more information: CCRI STEM Connect, Rhode Island Department of Education.
Boise State University
The university provides Dual Enrollment courses by working with various high schools in the Treasure Valley region. For students to be eligible, they must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 and have parental/guardian approval if under 18. Some of the STEM courses offered are Biology, Math, Geology, Health, Kinesiology, Physics, and Chemistry. The rate for enrollment is $75 per credit. To learn more about the high schools and courses involved, click here.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
This university offers its Dual Enrollment program either online or in the student’s classroom. You can check the in-classroom availability through this link. They offer courses in areas like Aeronautics, Arts & Sciences, and Business; some examples of the Dual Enrollment online courses they offer are Aircraft Electrical System Theory, Foundations of Biology, and Financial Accounting. To learn more about Embry-Riddle, check them out here!
University of Connecticut
Uconn offers the opportunity for juniors or seniors to take courses on its campus and receive college credit for it. They also can receive high school credit depending on the high school’s policy. To be eligible for the program, the student must have a minimum of a 3.3 GPA and a recommendation from their high school teacher/counselor. There are all kinds of STEM courses offered and you can explore them here, just make sure you put “Non degree programs” in “Academic Level.” And to learn more about the Dual Enrollment program in general, click here.
Passaic County Community College
High school juniors or seniors can take the Dual Enrollment courses offered by this program either at their high school or at the community college. They also must have the right academic background for the chosen course, meet the academic criteria and/or have the recommendation of a high school teacher/counselor, and have parental consent to participate. Additionally, all the costs are covered by their STEM grant. You can check out the courses offered in this list. And to learn more about the program offered by this NASA Partner college, click here!
Western Illinois University
WIU offers a great STEM Dual Enrollment program for students interested in starting to think ahead in their academic journeys. The program is available for students to take either on campus or online and if they end up enrolling at WIU after high school, students receive a tuition discount! Some courses available are Engineering, Physics, and Statistics. If you want to learn more about this program, click here!
University of Southern Indiana
USI offers a College Achievement Program for juniors and seniors so that they can take college courses in their own high schools. A list of participating high schools can be found here. The criteria to enroll in most of the courses are that the student should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a grade of C or better in the area of the chosen course. Some of the STEM courses offered are Math, Chemistry, Biology, Health Professions, Geography, Physics and much more! You can check the course availability by high school by clicking on the high school name in the list provided above. To learn more about the program, click here.
After checking out all of these programs, hopefully you can see the appeal and benefit of participating in a Dual Enrollment Program – they are not only a great way of jumpstarting your college experience in a cost-effective way, they also allow you to explore STEM while setting yourself up for success!
Here’s more resources to help you get ahead in STEM: