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We sat down with our very own dual credit expert, Sharleen Hunt, to discuss some important trends and cost saving tips about taking dual credit in high school. Mrs. Hunt works directly with students and parents to provide dual credit solutions, and also works with school districts to help coordinate partnerships. In the interview below, she shares her insight about the world of dual credit.

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Learning From A Dual Credit Expert



LETU::: Starting with the basics, why is dual credit beneficial to high school students?

HUNT::: For students who are ready for a challenge beyond basic high school courses, the benefits are huge. I can think of a lot of benefits, but the ones that come to mind are mostly the skills in organization and time management that they learn. Another great advantage is that they learn additional learning management systems such as Canvas or Blackboard. Additionally, they can accumulate quite a few college hours at a low cost. One of the greatest benefits, that many students are unaware of, is that it helps reduce the anxiety that many students feel when making the transition from High School to College. 

LETU::: Can you tell us a bit about the “return on investment” (ROI) benefits that dual credit students receive?

HUNT::: One of the advantages is the low cost tuition rate – currently our dual credit hourly rate of $90 per credit hour is lower than that of our local community college. Completing many of your Gen-Eds while in high school also gives you more flexibility in your schedule when you get to college. This can also significantly reduce your overall time enrolled in college, which saves you from taking out any additional loans, and can lead to greater financial freedom after earning your degree.

LETU::: Have you found that students use their time in dual credit to explore a bit more of their options in terms of future career or choice of major?

HUNT::: We do offer some introductory courses for students who are still trying to decide their passions or what they are interested in. For instance, we offer some health science classes for students that explore many different fields within healthcare, and some of these courses are only one credit hour, so again, very cost effective.

LETU::: How is taking dual credit while in high school different than AP or IB credits?

HUNT::: I get that question a lot. AP and IB are great programs, but what differentiates dual credit, is that students who are enrolled in dual credit courses will automatically earn college credit upon successfully completing the class. When you are in AP or IB programs, you take the program all semester, but only earn college credit after you take a test at the end. Your exam score determines whether or not you get college credit, and each college/university has their own criteria of what score you need to have earned in order for them to give you credit for that class.

LETU::: Have you found that students who took dual credit have experienced a “greater” success rate after college graduation in terms of job prospects? 

HUNT::: There have been a lot of studies on dual credit and its effect on job outcomes. Studies show that due to dual credit students learning important college skills earlier on, they have an advantage in the career world. These studies point to dual credit as a distinct contributing factor in early career searches. 

LETU::: What does it mean to take dual credit at the Christian Polytechnic University?

HUNT::: The demand for skilled workers in every industry – and definitely in the STEM fields – is closely linked to global competitiveness. In today’s economy more than ever, students are needing a university to prepare them with the skills they need in their career. We are known as a university that equips students very well for their vocation, and starting early through dual credit gives students that much more of a solid foundation.

LETU::: Parents tend to be significant influencers in their student’s choice of college, whether dual credit or traditional undergraduate. What are parents saying about the dual credit program at LeTourneau University?

HUNT::: Now that we have been doing this for a number of years, I have had many opportunities to talk to parents and families of our dual credit students. A lot of parents mentioned how their students were initially apprehensive about taking college level courses, but once they became acclimated to the college environment, it gave them encouragement to continue. After they were successful, the students gained the confidence that they can do well in college. Parents also mention how these dual credit courses help their students to learn even better communication skills through interaction with faculty, which prepares them all the more for future college courses.

LETU::: For those that may not be aware, tell us about the Dual Credit Scholarship offered here at LeTourneau University.

HUNT::: The Dual Credit Scholarship is $16,000 per year for up to four years, and is automatically awarded to any student who passes at least one of our dual credit courses. The course may be taken online, on our main campus here in Longview, or through any one of our 57 partner schools.

LETU::: Just to clarify, even if you take just a one credit hour class for ninety dollars, if you pass the class you automatically are awarded a $64,000 scholarship over the course of four years?

HUNT::: That is correct.

LETU::: Before you go, you mentioned the classes that can help you learn more about careers in healthcare, what are some other options for career focused courses?   

HUNT::: There is a brand new class this Fall opening up in a pilot program entitled, “Do I Want To Be An Engineer?” It will be the first class of this kind for engineering specifically. We also have some classes specific to Teacher Education that will be offered this fall.

LETU::: Before we conclude, are there any additional thoughts you would like to add? 

HUNT::: Well, there is a misconception that we have heard, that LeTourneau University courses do not transfer to other universities. We have actually mapped out our general education classes to the general core that is offered at any public college/university. What I tell my students is ultimately it is up to the receiving institution on whether or not they accept your credits, but for the most part all of our general education classes are fully transferrable.

LETU::: Thank you so much for your time. We appreciate your insight and we know students and families will appreciate this as well! 

 


 


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