Dual Enrollment good for students willing to go the extra mile

As high school freshmen, students in our district are required to take the College and Career course, but some may find themselves still having many questions about college majors and courses. However, the local community colleges present K-12 students with the opportunity to begin their college experience before they even graduate.

There are some requirements placed by the college program which student must meet to be eligible for dual enrollment shown in the picture and more on the website page. (Ventura College Website)

Dual enrollment is “the opportunity to take college-level courses that are not available through their primary school” as stated on the Ventura College website.

Even though our district high schools do offer a great variety of classes for their students, some may find that their class interests are not an option in their school of choice. Through dual enrollment they can find additional classes to take such as other foreign languages, science disciplines, and more.

Assistant principal of curriculum and instruction Frank Davis, who is in charge of dual enrollment students, believes this opportunity to be very beneficial as it “allows students to experience what college courses are like [and] it is always attractive to colleges when they see that students have shown to be successful in college level courses already.”

Students may browse for classes they might be interested in before deciding to take the dual enrollment opportunity. (Ventura College Website)

Aside from experiencing college level courses, students may also take advantage of the exemption from enrollment fees, meaning they do not have to pay full price to take these classes. 

If a student does want to take the opportunity of dual enrollment whether it is for high school or college credit, experiencing college level course, or deciding on their major, being eligible for dual enrollment is not something that is too difficult for most students to do. 

[Dual enrollment] allows students to experience what college courses are like [and] it is always attractive to colleges when they see that students have shown to be successful in college level courses already.

— Frank Davis

According to Davis, a student must be enrolled in at least four classes at BHS and abide by all college policies in the college catalog. The college catalog policies include the Student Code of Conduct, requirements for admission and deadlines for adding and dropping classes including payment of applicable fees.

While dual enrollment does have its perks, there can be some downsides to consider. For one, college is a different level and most courses that a college offers can be more advanced than what students take in high school. 

“Sometimes students are not prepared for that level of instruction and rigor. If a student is limited in their time to do homework, and/or already has a heavy load of coursework at Buena, they should think carefully before they enroll in a college class,” Davis said.

College does introduce a new level of responsibility to most students. They have to make sure they know when the registration window will be open for them and plan ahead as dual enrollment students do not start registering for classes at the same time as other college students.

“Students are responsible to drop classes by published deadlines. Failure to drop a class by the deadline can result in an “F” grade on the student’s permanent record,” said Davis.

Although there are high school and college counselors to help students decide with classes to take for dual enrollment, Ventura College does have a specialist and a counselor who dedicates himself to dual enrollment students, both of which are listed on the Dual Enrollment page.

The Ventura College counselors dedicated to helping students with Dual Enrollment are seen in the picture along with the contact information. (Ventura College Website)

You may also “work with your counselor or with Ms. Debbas in the College and Career Center when considering dual enrollment,” Davis said.