As a part of its academic curriculum, Tyrone Area High School offers a wide variety of courses. Along with the normal core classes and diverse electives, students are also able to enroll in several college-level dual enrollment courses.
Basically, these dual enrollment (abbreviated as “DE”) courses are courses offered by nearby colleges and universities that students can take in high school. Some require a placement test or a minimum grade point average for students to enroll.
These courses are much more rigorous and intense than the typical high school class. They are taught and run like a college class. If passed, they count as high school AND college credit, making them extremely beneficial for the college-bound student.
It’s important to note that these courses are just like they would be at their respective college, in terms of course load and credits. Furthermore, the credits earned are transferable to other schools.
To receive and be able to transfer the college credits, however, students must register with the college and pay for the credits. The price is dependent on the number of credits, and while it may look a little pricey at first glance, it’s really only a fraction of what you would pay in post-secondary school.
Currently, there are six DE courses offered at Tyrone: history, chemistry 2, calculus, college algebra, public speaking, English comp 1 and 2, and statistics. Not just anyone can teach a dual enrollment class, however. For a teacher to be able to teach a dual enrollment, he/she must have a master’s degree in that subject.
Since Tyrone offers several DE courses, some students are able to earn enough credits throughout their entire high school career to be able to shorten their collegiate career by a whole semester or more!
Here are some comments from students and teachers involved with DE courses:
“I took this class because I wanted to be ahead for college… It’s hard, but not too hard,” said senior Olivia Reese about DE English.
“We go a lot faster than our other classes and our tests are much more difficult. But it’s good to challenge yourself, it’ll pay off in the long run,” said senior Brent McNeel about DE Chemistry 2.
“Expectations in dual enrollment classes are higher. Students are expected to complete more work outside of class, and the work and assessments are more rigorous. It’s great preparation for college,” said Michele Marasco, who teaches DE Statistics and DE Calculus.
“I want to be an engineer and math is essential to do this… It moves at a lot faster pace and there is a lot more work that needs to be done outside of class,” said sophomore Stephanie Ramsey about DE Calculus.
“Both classes are standard college English composition and literature courses and require much more outside work and reading than a typical high school class… If both classes are completed successfully, students don’t have to take English 12 their senior year,” said Kathy Beigle, who teaches DE English comp 1 and 2.
“I get nervous while public speaking and wanted to improve my skills. Also, I wanted to take challenging classes this year,” said senior Emily Detwiler about DE Public Speaking.
“The class is basically a pre-calculus class with an emphasis on the algebra needed to do calculus… It’s more rigorous due to its level of detail and degree of difficulty in answering homework and assessment questions,” said Christopher Shedd, who teaches DE College Algebra.
“We study the 1877 to 2000 time period. This course requires a 2,000-word research paper, and test essays require students to explain cause and effect in detail. We spend a lot of time evaluating the reliability of sources. Most class periods require students to analyze primary documents,” said Suzanne Burket, who teaches DE History.
Although duel enrollment courses at Tyrone Area High School are more rigorous and require more work to be done outside of school, the positives outweigh the negatives. Even if a student is not planning on going to college to earn a four-year degree, duel enrollment classes could still benefit them greatly.