Taking College-Level Classes Outside Your High School

Taking College-Level Classes Outside Your High School

If you're looking for an academic challenge at the college level, you may have to go beyond your high school walls.

High school can definitely be a challenge. But it’s nothing compared to the academic demands of a four-year university.

Some students wish to prepare themselves for college by participating in dual enrollment. But is it right for you?

Dual enrollment occurs when a high school student takes extra college-level classes in addition to their regular school work. Not only do dual enrollment courses offer college credit, they also prepare high school students for the oncoming world of secondary education.

The Benefits of Dual Enrollment

Enrolling in college courses during high school will not only give you a sneak peek into the college experience, but it will also give you a taste of the level of work you can expect to receive in college.

The added classes will also provide you with a leg up on your college applications that some of your fellow students won’t have. Many high school students take AP classes, but few go the extra mile.

The Drawbacks

Public school may be free, but most dual enrollment courses will need to be paid out of pocket.

Not only will you have to complete the work for your high school classes, but there will be bonus college reading and homework. If the extra stress is going to negatively impact your high school grades, then enrolling in college-courses may not be right for you.

College admissions boards would rather see great grades in high school courses, then mediocre grades in both high school and college courses.

Taking College-Level Classes Outside Your High School: Tips and Tactics

  • Research courses available at your local community college that allow high school students to enroll. Many also offer classes specifically designed for high school students. Call the community colleges near your home, or check out their websites.
  • One such dual enrollment program is called Jump Start at Glendale Community College of California near Los Angeles. The recommendation for this program is that students have at least a B average in their high school classes. Classes are scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays so they do not interfere with other high school classes.
  • Dual enrollment can give you a head start on college but it's important to be realistic with your schedule. Don't make your high school grades suffer just because you wanted to get a few college courses ahead.

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