Dual enrollment opportunity offered at HHS

Elizabeth Newman, Reporter

If you are interested in dual enrollment, visit the dual enrollment page of the school counseling services to find out more information. Dual enrollment has been an option for HHS for about 10 years. (Screenshot/ Elizabeth Newman)

Get the best of both worlds!

Dual Enrollment is a program offered to Hershey High School juniors and seniors that allows them to take college classes and receive high school and college credits for that class. Students must take a class from a local university for which they are responsible for the tuition, enrollment fees, and transportation.

The program has been offered to HHS for at least the past ten years. Only a handful of students use the dual enrollment option annually. Ms. Maggio, HHS guidance counselor, estimates about three to five students are enrolled in the program this year.

In order to be eligible for the dual enrollment program, students must meet a few requirements, including a cumulative GPA of 85% or higher and no large attendance or discipline problems. Attendance and discipline records will be looked over by the administration and taken into account. Students who have had recieved a letter citing attendance issues or have been suspended from school in the previous year will not be allowed to leave HHS for a college class.

The administration reserves the right to take away the dual enrollment when a student has behavior or attendance issues that occur after class work has begun.

Dual enrollment has large benefits. One of them is increasing the difficulty of a student’s course load. This can help students if the course at HHS are not challenging enough for them. Another benefit is getting a feel for what a college level course is like.

Students could also potentially earn college credit for the course. Not all colleges will accept dual enrollment credits, so Maggio recommends checking with potential colleges about their dual enrollment policies and if they will accept the credit or not. Even if a college does not accept the credit, Maggio still sees it as a great opportunity.

While there are great benefits to dual enrollment, there are some negatives. The main issue is time constraints. Dual enrollment usually takes up three periods out of the day. This can make it difficult to schedule other classes the students wanted to take while making them fit into their dual enrollment schedule.

A great way to get around losing three periods of your day is by taking an online class if it is offered, according to Maggio. This will making scheduling a lot easier. But either way, if the class is on campus or online, it is still a good option.

To get started with the dual enrollment process, the student must first meet with their guidance counselor to discuss the student’s eligibility. After that, a High School Credit for College Courses Approval Form must be completed and submitted to the counseling office.

Since students must take the college class at a university nearby, the most common ones used are Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and Penn State Harrisburg.

If a student is interested in taking a course at HACC, there is a application in the guidance office they can pick up. The student should fill out the application and submit it upon completion to Mrs. Korn, the counseling secretary. The guidance office would then send the application to HACC. HACC will then contact the student, if they are accepted, about taking placement testing as well as attending a student orientation.

If a student would like to take a course at a university other than HACC, there is another form on the counseling office that they must fill out.

Independent arrangements will not be accepted for HHS credits. The student must go through the school and counseling office.

If you have any questions about dual enrollment or think you are interested, be sure to contact your guidance counselor.