By Norm Miller, LC Communications
PINEVILLE – The Rapides Parish School Board voted July 7 to partner with Louisiana College to allow qualified high school students to enroll at the college in up to six hours of college courses per semester.
“We are pleased almost beyond words with this development,” said Dr. Rick Brewer, president of Louisiana College. “We are grateful for the cooperation of board president Keith Breazeale and all the board members, and for their unified vision of advancing the educational quality and content for local residents. Louisiana College is elated to be a part of that equation.”
Dual enrollment permits qualified high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses that, when successfully completed will apply to the students’ high school and college credit hours simultaneously.
Limited enrollment for high school sophomores may be available, but will require the high school principal’s recommendation.
Dual enrollment will be available to homeschooled students whose curricula meet Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements.
“The academic and economic benefits of our agreement are remarkable,” Brewer said. “Those benefitting the most from this include students who take advantage of dual enrollment, as well as their families,” Brewer said. “Not only will high school students be exposed to the rigors and relevance of world class instruction, the high school junior who successfully completes six hours of dual enrollment classes per semester could, upon approval, enter college with 24 credit hours.”
“That lacks only six hours of being college sophomore status,” Brewer added. “It also represents a financial savings of more than 90 percent on the freshman year. Essentially, the cost for completing the first year of college through dual enrollment is about $800 instead of multiple thousands. In today’s economy, that is significant.”
LC will charge $100 per class offered through dual enrollment.
“Qualified dual enrollment students who do not exhaust all eight semesters of TOPS eligibility while pursing an undergraduate degree may apply the remaining TOPS eligibility toward a graduate degree,” said David Barnard, LC’s director of financial aid. “Therefore, taking dual enrollment classes in high school may actually be advantageous to the qualified students’ financial aid packages even in graduate school if they remain TOPS eligible,” he said.
Numerous additional advantages accrue for dual enrollment students, said Brewer, citing a Columbia University study that reports that students who participate in dual enrollment programs are more likely to go to college, perform better in college, and complete their college degree early or on time as compared to those who do not engage in dual enrollment.
High school students also get a “taste of the rigors of college academics,” Brewer said, which can help prepare the student for college curricula and help determine a student’s preferred career choice.
“Dual enrollment is only one piece of the academic pie we plan to serve across the state,” Brewer said. “Our vision to prepare graduates and transform lives through a relevant, relational and rigorous college experience has many aspects to it, and I believe the good people of Louisiana will continue to be pleased with our progress.”