Crunching the Numbers, Making Sound Choices with Dual Enrollment

a:10:{i:0;s:204:"St. Charles Children’s Learning Center Director Shirley Allen

High School, CSM Dual Enrollment Open House, Feb. 9-12

Chaptico resident Rachel Potts, 18, is all business about her future, both as a career choice as well as in planning for her own collegiate path.

“I’ve always been interested in business and finance. For years I’ve been preparing for a career crunching numbers,” Potts said. A student at the College of Southern Maryland, Potts said that “ultimately, I want to work at Pax River using my talents to help the military track spending and inefficiencies—and save taxpayers money, too.”

College was always part of her plan, but she didn’t wait to graduate from high school to begin her journey toward a career in accounting and finance. After learning about the dual enrollment program between her high school and CSM, she signed up.

“I knew what I wanted to do after high school, so why not get a head start,” she said.

The decision she made in entering the dual enrollment program, as well as in applying for scholarships and internships, getting practical experience through Chopticon High School’s Academy of Finance, running her own small business and working for an accounting firm, have positioned her to complete her associate degree and possibly bachelor’s degree with no student debt—and a jump start on her career.

“I heard about the dual enrollment program with CSM from my college and career advisor,” Potts said. “When I graduated from high school, I already had college experiences—and credits.”

Through the Dual Enrollment Program, CSM gives area high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to simultaneously earn college credit—with up to a 50 percent reduction—that may also count as credit toward a high school diploma.

“A main objective of the dual enrollment program is to increase the depth of study for students in high school. For some students, even high school honors courses do not provide the same level of intellectual stimulation as their equivalent dual enrollment course,” said CSM Admissions Director Brian Hammond.

From Potts’ perspective, she sees several advantages of dual enrollment for high school students. Once students finish high school, she said, they don’t have to worry about placement tests or enrollment paperwork because they are already CSM students and familiar with the college environment including accessing programs such as Blackboard, meeting with advisors, registering for classes and understanding expectations of college faculty.

“It’s a great program if high school students are ready for the challenge. The dual enrollment program provided me with a much easier transition from high school to college. I highly recommend it,” Potts said.

Another smart move by Potts to plan for college was applying for scholarships. She began accumulating funds for college when she was in middle school. As the eighth grader with the highest grade point average at her school, she earned the Mother Catherine Spalding School Scholarship with funds to be used toward college. She was also awarded the SMECO Scholarship, the Optimist Club of Seventh District Scholarship, Charlotte Hall School Scholarship, Lexington Park Rotary Scholarship, National Academy of Finance Scholarship through the Educational Systems Federal Credit Union and the Roy Dyson Senatorial Scholarship.

Potts, who was in the top 5 percent of Chopticon High School’s 2014 graduating class,  was told by career and college advisors that she could probably get into any college she chose. After her experiences with CSM in the dual enrollment program she decided to continue to pursue her associate degree at CSM and then transfer to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“I thought about colleges other than CSM, but I never applied,” she said. Potts saw her best investment choice was in Southern Maryland, where she could save a lot of money and be closer to the internship opportunities she wanted.

 

Dual Enrollment Parent Information Nights, Feb. 9, 11, 12

To assist parents and students interested in dual enrollment, CSM is hosting a Dual Enrollment Parent Night from 6-8 p.m. at each campus beginning with the La Plata Campus on Feb. 9, Leonardtown Campus on Feb. 11 and Prince Frederick Campus on Feb. 12. Parents and students will have the opportunity to speak with an enrollment advisor and learn about the program. Transferability of CSM courses to meet high school graduation requirements varies by county and students should confirm their eligibility through their high school guidance counselor. Students in area homeschool programs also benefit from dual enrollment at CSM.

A growing trend in education sees more and more high school juniors and seniors starting their collegiate academic pursuits at their local community college. According to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), each semester more than 4,000 Maryland currently enrolled high school students attend a community college to earn college credit.

“Students have a great opportunity to earn valuable college credit now, and to complete a degree in less time when they do graduate from high school,” said Hammond. “Studies show that students who participated in dual enrollment, on average, performed better in college than students who did not participate in dual enrollment.”

Dual enrollment application deadline is May 15 for summer semester, July 15 for fall semester and Dec. 15 for spring 2016 semester.

For information on requirements and deadline to enroll, visit www.csmd.edu/Admissions/DualEnrollment.html or contact a CSM enrollment advisor at 301-934-7765 or 301-934-2251. For information on admission options for high school students, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Admissions/category/Special/FAQs.html.

 

Calendar

Calvert County

CSM/High School Dual Enrollment Information Night. 6-8 p.m., Feb. 12. College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, Building B, Multipurpose Room, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Parents of high school juniors and seniors interested in CSM’s dual enrollment program for the summer and fall semesters can learn about eligibility and costs for taking classes at CSM that satisfy high school requirements as well as count for college credit. Students in the dual enrollment program can receive up to a 50 percent reduction in CSM tuition while in high school. To register for the information night or for information on dual enrollment, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Admissions/DualEnrollment.html, or 301-934-7765, option 9.

 

Charles County

CSM/High School Dual Enrollment Information Night. 6-8 p.m., Feb. 9. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Parents of high school juniors and seniors interested in CSM’s dual enrollment program for the summer and fall semesters can learn about eligibility and costs for taking classes at CSM that satisfy high school requirements as well as count for college credit. Students in the dual enrollment program can receive up to a 50 percent reduction in CSM tuition while in high school. To register for the information night or for information on dual enrollment, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Admissions/DualEnrollment.html, or 301-934-7765, option 9.

 

St. Mary’s County

CSM/High School Dual Enrollment Information Night. 6-8 p.m., Feb. 11. College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, A Building, Room A206, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Parents of high school juniors and seniors interested in CSM’s dual enrollment program for the summer and fall semesters can learn about eligibility and costs for taking classes at CSM that satisfy high school requirements as well as count for college credit. Students in the dual enrollment program can receive up to a 50 percent reduction in CSM tuition while in high school. To register for the information night or for information on dual enrollment, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Admissions/DualEnrollment.html, or 301-934-7765, option 9.

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