Challenging Students to a Dual (Enrollment)

Senior+Emma+Hall+%2822%29+at+Georgia+State+University%2C+the+college+at+which+she+participates+in+dual+enrollment.

Photo courtesy of Emma Hall

Senior Emma Hall (’22) at Georgia State University, the college at which she participates in dual enrollment.

Coco Bradford, Staff Writer

Dual enrollment at Chamblee is an option that not all students hear about but can be great depending on what they need. The idea behind dual enrollment is that high school students can take virtual or in-person college courses from local colleges, and the credits contribute to high school graduation credits. Students can acquire a certain number of class hours for free through Georgia’s program, and some colleges transfer dual enrollment credits to their college education. It can save money on a college and education, as well as expose students to a new type of education.

Before a student decides that they want to dual enroll, they need to make sure that they have transportation to and from the college they are applying to. It is also important to consider the number of credits Chamblee offers to pay for a college. At Chamblee, full-time dual students are required to take four college classes each semester. Part-time dual students must take five total classes each semester between Chamblee and the college, which can be divided in different ways.

The first step to dual enrollment is looking through approved courses and figuring out which ones to take. This list can be found on the GAFutures website. Students’ counselors can also help them decide which classes from the high school they are trying to replace or which classes they want to take outside of the high school curriculum. Some examples are found here.

How to Choose Classes

Most Chamblee students choose classes that allow for a good balance between the high school and the college they choose. This can make students’ workload harder or easier depending on what they want.

“My classes are a little bit hard, but that’s just because I chose hard classes. Overall, it’s not too bad,” said Naa Adua Annan (‘23).

Students can also decide which classes to take at what points in time, once again performing a balancing act with how much work they can handle at once.

“I kind of decided for myself what courses I wanted to take in the future. I decided, you know, [one class] would be a better fit during the summer versus like lining [that class] up with all of my other APs,” said Oieshee Akter (‘22). “I thought, ‘I kind of want to take this class, but I just don’t have the space for it in my schedule next year.’”

Some students dual enroll in the summer to complete some of their credits outside of the normal school year, which involves the same application process and can help with lessening workload.

“I took U.S. History over the summer in four weeks with the mini-mester. You get your whole credit that you would […] if it was just in a normal year. You get it all in four weeks, which is really nice,” said Grace Nichols (‘23). “You get to pick your professor, and you can kind of control how hard the classes are. I didn’t want a lot of work, so I tried to get a professor like that.”

Summer classes are a recommended way to eliminate stress during the school year from college classes that give the same credits as their high school equivalents.

“I signed up for the summer class, and I think it was seven weeks. It was virtual, so it was just assignments. It was U.S. History, which would have been very, very difficult this year, so I’m really glad I did it this summer,” said Lily McCord (‘23).

After looking at courses and deciding that this is what they want to do, the student must fill out the student-parent agreement, which can be found here. It lets their parents know what is happening with dual enrollment and allows them to approve it.

The next step to applying for dual enrollment is to choose what school to apply to. The majority of Chamblee students dual enroll at Georgia State Perimeter Campus, which is under the greater Georgia State University system [GSU].

“I go to the Georgia State campus in Dunwoody [Georgia Perimeter] and it’s really nice there; I have no complaints about it,” said Liam Armstrong (‘22).

Oglethorpe University is also a popular choice because it is still close to the school and provides a different environment from GSU, as it is a private college.

“ [In my college search], I’ve been looking for a smaller and more liberal arts college, so that was very nice [at Oglethorpe],” said Emma Hall (‘22), who enrolled at Oglethorpe junior year and is at GSU this year. “Oglethorpe overall was more enthusiastic [than GSU], even though they were virtual, and that was a little bit more appealing to me. Also, I really value safety and stuff, so I liked that kind of enclosure and the only one way in and one way out kind of thing.”

Oglethorpe’s smaller environment, though, is not for everyone.

“It’s really small, and I don’t think that’s for me, because it kind of just […] does feel like college, but it also feels like high school part two,” said Annan.

Specific College Requirements

Each college has different application requirements and costs, which can be found on the CHS Counseling PowerPoint, and are also listed below.

Oglethorpe

Official high school transcript: GPA of 3.4 or higher with proven rigor
SAT or ACT scores optional
Two essay questions
Letter of recommendation
Dual enrollment interview optional
$75 application fee (can be waived if you talk to your counselor)
Possible lab fee, depending on class
No cost for materials or books, Oglethorpe will cover them

GSU Georgia Perimeter

3.0 core GPA
On track to graduate on time
Test scores: SAT 530 Reading + Writing/ 530 Math OR ACT 20 English/ 20 Math
Accuplacer: 237 Reading, 4-8 Writeplacer, 258 QAS for certain classes

GSU Downtown Campus

3.0 core GPA
On track to graduate on time
Test scores: SAT 580 Reading + Writing/ 560 Math OR ACT 23 English/ 2 Math

Georgia Tech

3.5 core GPA; 3.5 math GPA (for Distance Math program)
Official high school transcript including spring courses and grades
Test scores: SAT 600 Math OR 27 ACT Math (for Distance Math program)
AP Scores: 4 on AP Calculus BC exam (for Distance Math program)

Continuing the Application

From there, students apply to their college of choice as dual enrollment students. Each college’s website and application works in a different way.

“It’s honestly quite easy to go through GSU’s system. They do like virtual orientation and everything and it’s super easy and it’s all free,” said Akter.

If a student needs help, they can email the college’s dual enrollment office and their counselor.

“I emailed my counselor about it, asking if I could do it, and when the deadline was and all that, and she told me,” said Annan. “I decided I wanted to go to Oglethorpe, so I went to their website. I started an application and then the dual enrollment advisor at Oglethorpe emailed me and she said, ‘Hey, I see that you’re filling this out. Let me know if you have any questions.’ And then I filled it out and then submitted it and a couple weeks later; I got accepted.”

Once they have applied, a Chamblee student’s counselor can submit their transcript to the college.

“I emailed back and forth with [my counselor]. [The counselors] are the ones who, once you go into Georgia Futures and ask for your transcript, they’re the ones who have to send it, and they’d complete your funding application,” said Sasha Kropacova (‘23).

When the college has accepted the student, they can choose their courses and decide if they want to do morning classes or afternoon classes. This can depend on classes they are already taking at the high school.

“I do morning since I have to be in yearbook in fourth period. I can’t miss that so I had to do it in the morning. So then I’m only [at Chamblee] for fourth, fifth, and sixth [periods],” said Armstrong.

Similar to Armstrong, Hall follows the two college classes and three high school classes pattern. This is a popular choice because many college classes follow a Tuesday and Thursday or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule. Class days can alternate so students only have one class each morning before they come to high school.

“I take two classes [at GSU] and three classes here. I chose pretty reasonable times so that I’m able to sleep in and not wake up at ungodly hours to get [to the college],” said Hall.

Additionally, students can divide their schedules between high school and college differently. Annan, for instance, takes one class at Oglethorpe and five at Chamblee.

“I go in twice a week this semester. Last semester, I went three times a week. Then, the other days that I don’t have class, I just get to wake up late, so that’s nice,” said Annan.

Why Choose Dual Enrollment?

Everyone recommends dual for different reasons. The choice a student makes about it depends on what they are looking for.

Summer classes tend to be an easier option, so some students choose that route.

“I would recommend [summer dual] for classes that you kind of just want to get the credit for and get out of the way,” said Nichols.

Classes at college are for young adults, so experiencing that is more adult than the high school environment.

“It helps you prepare for college. The grading system is completely different like my tests are worth 70% of my grade,” said Akter. “It’s honestly just a different experience. You get to do discussion boards too, which you don’t really do here, so you respond to your other classmates. That kind of just gives you a different perspective on what education is because a lot of my classmates are parents and have full-time jobs and stuff. It’s really cool to see different perspectives.”

Being around older people and stepping into their future creates a new sense of maturity for students.

“It’s just really relaxed. Honestly, that’s the main difference [between high school classes and college classes]. There aren’t a bunch of people just making a bunch of noise all the time,” said Annan.

The enthusiasm for teaching from college professors is also a big pull for many students.

“I learned a lot more in-depth in [one semester] because the teachers were really passionate about teaching it and they had very good methods of teaching. Taking classes at the college made it easier for me to understand since it was coming from professionals in that field,” said Hall. “I feel like the stuff they give here in high school, a lot of it is forced. But when you’re taking classes that you actually like, it’s easier to do the content and learn things.”

Professors at the colleges are also more professional, which makes classes more productive and fosters more concrete learning.

“Since my class is online, it’s asynchronous, so I get to work at my own pace. And the professors treat you with a lot of respect, which is not always how it is at the high school. So it’s definitely a step up in quality, and they really know what they’re doing over there,” said Armstrong. “It’s a big step up; it feels almost like night and day.”

Dual enrollment also generally allows students to structure their time in their own way.

“I leave […] right after lunch, so I get to sleep after class, and my class is online, so I just do things at my own pace. It has let me have a lot of free time,” said Akter. “It has let me put a lot more time into my clubs and everything, so I think dual enrollment is a really good choice for anyone who would like to kind of have more unstructured time.”

Students can choose dual for any number of reasons, and according to our Chamblee students, they will not regret it.

“I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little extra GPA boost because it does give you the same boost as an AP class or for some college experience if you want to go in person,” said Annan. “Or if you take it online, if you want to not be so stressed out during your junior and senior year, I would definitely recommend it.”

Dual enrollment is a great choice for students eager to gain college credits and get a head start on their future.

“[Dual enrollment] also could give you college credit so that you could possibly graduate faster or take more classes that you want at the college that you go to if your college accepts those credits, which sometimes they will,” said Hall. “I know that in-state colleges will most likely accept the credits if you go to GSU or Oglethorpe.”

The cost-free college credits are appealing, especially since they can reduce the time students spend, and therefore money they spend, on college classes in the future.

“I just think that people should take full advantage of [dual enrollment] because I will be going into college basically as a sophomore because I’ve knocked out so many of my prerequisite classes. It’s really something that everyone should take advantage of because it’s free,” said Armstrong. “It really is the best option.”

To summarize Chamblee students’ opinions on dual enrollment, it is a great choice for academic, social, and practical purposes.

“Dual enrollment is the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Akter.

The CHS Counseling website contains more information on dual enrollment and how to register for summer and/or fall & spring dual enrollment courses. This PowerPoint from Dual Enrollment night contains additional details as well. The deadline for approval for the summer and fall 2022 semesters is Friday, April 15th at 3:00 p.m or Friday, April 1st for summer classes at GSU.