Halifax Students Taking College to College
A group of 2012 Halifax County High School graduates are taking clothes, extra-long twin sheets, small refrigerators and their laptops to college this fall. These specific grads are taking something extra with them: they are taking college credits.
|Katherin Nichols (left) transferred to James Madison University, Johnnie Canada (right) transferred to Virginia Tech.
Southside Virginia Community College offers dual enrollment classes at the high school and this year, 74 completed their associate’s degrees before they even completed high school. These graduates, along with others who took some college classes for credit, will be transferring those credits to senior institutions. The result of this unique and innovative program: money savings, time savings and a head start on college.
“I think it is fantastic,” said Vivian Brooks, mother to HCHS and SVCC graduate Brian Brooks. “We were very pleased with this program and the opportunity given to these students. When I attended HCHS, we were offered college prep classes but for our children in this rural area to have this opportunity, [classes for college credit] well, it is just fantastic.”
Brian is headed to the College of William and Mary this fall where he will be classified as a second semester sophomore due to the credits he transferred from the community college programs he took. The total credits accepted from SVCC and Danville Community College is 59, according to Brooks.
Asked about his dual enrollment experience, he said, “It is a good deal. It changed how I approached high school and gave me an opportunity to get ahead. I was able to get most of the General Education requirements out of the way so I could figure out a major and jump right in. I should come out of William and Mary with a Masters degree in the same time it would have taken me to get a four year degree.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, college credits earned prior to high school graduation reduce the average time-to-degree and and increase the likelihood of graduation for the students who participate in dual enrollment programs. For parents, it is a chance to reduce future college expenses by shortening the time to college graduation.
And the savings are great. Another Halifax student, Damien Walton, said, “We saved a lot of money.” He is transferring his credits to George Mason University and feels the program offered him “a good advantage over other students and prepared him for college. “ He plans to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from GMU.
Bria Chappell is also transferring her credits to George Mason. She plans to major in athletic training with 61 credits being accepted by the senior institution.
“My family was very happy with the money the program saved us. I think it is a great program and great to be able to finish high school with a degree from a two year college, too, “she said.
Brittnie Mulchi is now at James Madison University. She is also happy to have completed her General Education requirements in high school and hopes to graduate in two years with a pre-pharmacy degree.
Since 1988, 14,000 students have taken advantage of this great opportunity through Southside Virginia Community College.
Dual Enrollment students were eligible to march at the SVCC graduation on May 12, 2012 in Alberta. There were 193 high school students who received Associate’s degrees and another 113 who received certificates or career studies certificates.
According to Dr. John Cavan, SVCC President, the number of graduates from SVCC in this program is larger than the number for all the dual enrollment grads from the state of New York. Halifax County, Virginia, can also boast that it had more students to successfully complete this program than any school division in the USA.
“Dual enrollment can save families approximately $52,000 over two years if they had planned to attend a four year state college. This is quite a savings and offers many students the chance to pursue graduate and professional degrees using the money they saved,” Dr. Cavan said.
Those interested in this program can learn more about through their high school or by contacting the community college at 1-888-220-7822.
(c) 2012. Southside Virginia Community College. All rights reserved.