Double the credit

High school students enroll in college


photo credit: courtesy photo

Best buds \\ Junior Aidan Nguyen poses with his dual credit US History teacher, Mr. Garner, after the NHS Induction ceremony Nov. 15. “Talking to Mr. Jack Garner during our free periods is nice,” Nguyen said.

writer: Morgan Clark, Staff Reporter

It’s 11:57, and he has two minutes to submit the essay given to him two months ago. He tried not to wait until the last minute, but how could he submit it beforehand on top of all of the other assignments he didn’t know about? Instead of going to class every day of the week and abiding by his high school teachers’ standards, he is enrolled in college classes that have more independent standards and easier schedules. Junior Aidan Nguyen is enrolled in Dual credit US History and Dual credit English III this year. Dual credit classes are offered here for students to get college credit while still in high school. 

Once my sister told me about what dual credit was and told me the incentives, it made it a no-brainer because, in the future, I won’t have to take certain courses. ”

— Aidan Nguyen, junior

Seven Dual-credit classes are offered here in partnership with Collin College that allow students to earn college credits while completing their high school requirements for graduation. A dual credit course is a course that counts for both high school and college credit at the same time. The courses provided here include English III DC and English IV DC, Dual-credit US History, Dual-credit Government/Economics, College Algebra/Statistics, Spanish III DC or Spanish IV DC. 

“Most dual credit courses earn three credit hours each semester,” Assistant Principal Mrs. Natalie Nuss said. “The number of hours varies depending on the number of classes a student takes. If you took one dual credit class in a school year, you’d earn six college credit hours.” 

Grades work differently with high school and college. For instance, passing in high school has to be a grade of 70 or higher. In college, passing is a 60 or higher. Students can get a D in their college class and earn college credit, but they will not earn high school credit for that class. 

“Dual credit students can keep track of their grades in Canvas, a Collin College application, to know what their current grade is in their college class,” Mrs. Nuss said. “Due to FERPA, parents of dual credit students don’t have access to their grades or information regarding their college courses.” 

A week in dual credit also looks much different from a week in high school; dual credit classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Students who have a dual credit class with an embedded professor (also a Wylie East teacher) remain in class with the professor Monday-Friday. 

“If a student is in a course that has a professor that comes from the college, they have Tuesdays and Thursdays off for studying, etc.,” Mrs. Nuss said. 

Nguyen was in Pre-AP classes in previous years and is now accustomed to a college-level English class. 

“Compared to my high school classes, the work itself isn’t harder, but there is a lot more of a workload which makes it harder,” Nguyen said. 

There are many differences between dual credit and AP classes, and it is a personal preference for students to choose what path they want to take for how they spend their time in high school. 

“Once my sister told me about what dual credit was and told me the incentives, it made it a no-brainer because, in the future, I won’t have to take certain courses,” Nguyen said. 

It can be challenging for students to balance their college classes with their high school classes. 

“Dual credit gives you work days, so balancing high school classes is easier because you have time to get both classes’ work done,” Nguyen said. 

Because these are college classes taught by college professors, the students are treated like college students. This means they receive a syllabus at the beginning of the semester with all the assignments they are expected to complete. They aren’t given reminders of due dates, so it is up to the student to keep track of his or her workload. 

“The most difficult part about dual credit is managing your own time because you’re on your own for the most part when it comes to dealing with assignments,” Nguyen said. 

Dual credit classes have much different standards and expectations from high school classes. These students are treated like college students and are expected to act like them. 

“College professors have fewer restrictions on stuff they can do, so doing stuff like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich making and talking to Mr. Garner during our free periods is nice,” Nguyen said.