MONROE, La. — When most high school seniors were celebrating graduation from their respective schools, Grejika Abram had two ceremonies.
Abram took advantage of the dual enrollment program offered by Neville High School and Louisiana Delta Community College to fulfill her freshman level classes before setting foot on the campus of Mississippi’s Tougaloo College.
In May she graduated from Neville High on a Thursday and two days later received a general studies certificate from Delta Community College. The paper certifies successful completion of 43 hours of dual enrollment credit, which will transfer to her university of choice.
Abram is part of a growing number of high school students taking advantage of the opportunity to receive credit in their high school level courses and college level courses by taking college classes on the campus of their high school.
She took introductory courses in calculus, biology, English, Latin, toxicology, geology, psychology, public speaking, theater appreciation and business, among others. The only classes she took away from Neville were calculus, which she took at Grambling, and English 102, which she took at Delta Community College.
Abram said she enjoyed the opportunity to experience college level coursework from the security of her high school.
“They were taught as if we were stepping onto a college campus,” she said. “The classes were more laid back, more group oriented and more liberal.”
With the ultimate goal of becoming the first physician in her family, Abram is grateful to have a year’s worth of classes out of the way.
“It’s given me a new beginning,” she said. “It’s helped me find my start.”
These college level courses are offered to high school students at a reduced cost, or in some cases free.
Through a grant provided by the state, students attending a public high school and meeting academic requirements may take dual credit college level courses at no charge.
Private school students or home schoolers pay a reduced rate, which amounts to about half the normal tuition costs.
Delta Academic Outreach coordinator Lauri Anderson said that opportunities like these classes are becoming more popular as students work toward meeting TOPS requirements and seeking a more rigorous educational experience.
Anderson said classes offered on the high school campuses provide an alternative to the half-day class schedule that some high school seniors experience. By continuing the learning process, students adjust more readily and successfully to the college experience after high school.
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is working through the High School Redesign Commission to provide dual enrollment opportunities to high school students in an effort to make the Louisiana high school curriculum more rigorous.
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