Concurrent Enrollment Prepares Student for Next Step

Jack Roper is a textbook example of the benefits of concurrent enrollment.

Concurrent enrollment is the increasingly popular way high school students can enroll in college classes. To recap, concurrent enrollment meets four criteria: a specific structure for providing college courses to high school students; Colorado Opportunity Fund eligibility; tuition paid for, in most cases, up to the local community college rate; and coursework that applies to a degree or certificate

Jack, 16, is a student at Silver Creek High School in Longmont. He’s a senior. He also is a student at Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus. The reason? Concurrent enrollment certainly, but also this:

“I ran out of math classes at Silver Creek,” Jack says. “And we didn’t have computer science classes.”

Math and Computer Science

Although he has not taken more than one FRCC class per semester, Jack has completed Calculus 1, 2, and 3, and two computer science classes.

“I like learning,” Jack says. “Ken Monks (his math professor) is the best teacher I’ve ever had. My counselors at Silver Creek were really helpful in setting up my schedule.”

Next Step: University of Texas

Jack found that he really liked both math and computer science. He applied to about eight colleges. In the fall, he’s heading to the University of Texas-Austin to study computer science. He also was accepted into the university’s Turing Honors Scholars Program for computer science students. He doesn’t know yet whether he wants to work in industry or in research.

He does know, however, that he’s heading to a university bigger than Front Range. “Everything is bigger in Texas,” he says. “I met a professor there who’s awesome, and I really liked Austin.”

Jack’s mother, Kimberly Roper, believes Jack got into the computer science program at the University of Texas “because his courses at FRCC gave him a unique competitive advantage in showing he could handle challenging college-level courses. University of Texas is always ranked in the top ten in computer science and can only have 10 percent of their students from out-of-state by state law, so the competition is fierce. The fact that he got in and into the honors program really testifies to the benefits of concurrent enrollment classes at FRCC.”

Concurrent enrollment is just one of the programs at Front Range for high school students. Each campus offers a mix of general education and career-technical classes and programs. A good place to start after reviewing the website is your or your child’s high school counselor.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.