April 25, 2012
Who's-in-HS

Taking College Classes in High School: A Student’s Perspective

Have you ever seen a high school college student on campus? We may not be easily recognized as we seem to blend into the student body rather nicely, but we are there, and there seem to be more of us all the time.

Concurrent Enrollment

Spring 2012 is my 5th semester at Front Range Community College in Longmont. This is my senior year of high school, but I’m taking only college classes. When I graduate in May, I will have earned 37 college credits. The program that I am participating in is called Concurrent Enrollment, and it allows high school students (9th through 12th graders) to dually enroll in high school and college. College classes count as high school credit and college credit, and students don’t have to pass any hard AP tests.

College Classes in High School

Many high schools are now offering college classes (usually a college professor will come and teach at the high school). I, however, have been home schooled my entire life. Yes, friends, those of us that are home schooled do socialize, and although we may be slightly “sheltered” it’s for a reason. I can honestly say that playing on a high school soccer team for three years dutifully educated me in the way of sexual terms and cuss words. I found it rather amazing (actually, I still do) how many times certain four letter words could make it into a single sentence from some of my teammates.

College Now Program

But Concurrent Enrollment classes are not just for home schooled students. Most students who participate in the College Now program at FRCC attend public high schools. Depending on where you go to school, you may be able to take college courses at your high school or at the nearest FRCC location.

Fun, Challenging Courses

The first college class I took was Biology 1 for the science major. To date, this has been my favorite class. I had recently turned 16, and was slightly intimidated to say the least, but I was excited to find two other high schoolers in the class. Six out of the 10 classes I have taken have had other high school students (sometimes that was just my brother, but he still counts). Biology 1 was fun, but it was also very challenging. I learned so much from that class: how cells function and use or make energy, how cells divide, genetics, so many neat things about DNA, etc. I also had many great classmates in Biology 1, and they were great support.

Professors are Human too

I would say my experiences are probably quite similar to most students, but I definitely have had some crazy things happen when receiving tests back. For example, a professor simply counted the points on my test wrong. I noticed, and he changed the grade, giving me an A rather than a B. The lesson: Always Look Over Your Tests. Professors are human too, you know.

Unique Relationships with College Professors

From my own experiences, and from having talked with friends who are also College Now students, I know that a lot of us stay after class. Admittedly, some of us may be stuck doing this at times if we don’t have a car or driver’s license. But it does gives us a chance to ask questions or simply just chat for a little while. I can tell you that it’s really neat to be walking down the hall and see a professor from a previous semester who still remembers your name and says hello.

Getting a Head Start

I love being able to attend Front Range Community College. It’s a challenge, and helps me push myself more than I might otherwise. I’m excited to have this head start. The sooner I can get through college and on to changing the world, the better!

If you are a high school student, a parent of a high schooler, or someone influential in a high schooler’s life, I greatly encourage you to look into Concurrent Enrollment. Most school districts will even pay for up to two gtPathways classes!

Most people think it’s great that I can take college classes, but I want to know if you have any concerns about high schoolers doing this. If you do, please comment below! (and if you don’t, well, you can comment anyway!)

 

About the author:

Mallory Martin is a high school senior attending Front Range Community College. She is the second oldest of 9 children, plans on majoring in PreMed, and would like to work in a developing country.

Comments:

April 25, 2012 Lynee Graves

Beautifully written blog!

April 25, 2012 MC Pearse

Nice job, Mallory!

April 25, 2012 Teresa Curtis

Great article Mallory. You are an excellent role model for your siblings and many others.

April 25, 2012 Camden Graves

Great article!!

April 25, 2012 Natalie Curtis

This is a great article. Sums up the positive experience perfectly!

April 26, 2012 Taylor Cassanova

Mallory,

That was awesome! keep up the good work!

April 27, 2012 Barbie

You go, girl. (:

April 27, 2012 Mallory Martin

Thanks everyone! I’ve been very blessed to have this opportunity.

April 27, 2012 Sharon Peeples

This is a wonderful article Mallory and helped me understand better how you are able to take college classes while still a senior in high school. My most favorite statement made was “The sooner I can get through college and on to changing the world, the better!” You are an amazing lady and it is my honor to be your piano teacher and friend. God bless you in all you do! ~Miss Sharon~

May 01, 2012 Sarajane Helm

My oldest son participated in this program years ago and it was wonderful for him; he’s now working on a MFA at Regis University. This program was a big jumpstart for his academic years, and I’m very glad to see that it is still a boon to students here in the community. Thanks for writing a great post about it!

    May 03, 2012 Mallory Martin

    That’s awesome, Sarajane! I haven’t ever looked into how long the program has been going, but that’s really cool to hear that it’s been around for awhile. It’s encouraging to hear from others who have been through the program and gone on to do great things :)

May 26, 2012 Deborah

Wow, I relate to this so well. I also was home schooled and started dual credit but I wasn’t able to earn 37 credits before transferring to a university. I think I came onto it too late. How is concurrent enrollment different from dual credit? Did you take any CLEP along the way?

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