Dual Enrollment, Opening a World of Possibilities

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If you’re looking to get ahead in your educational career, then check out Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC’s) Dual Enrollment Program. Juniors, seniors and exceptional sophomores and freshmen in high school qualify for the program, and there are only a few steps that must be taken to get accepted. The student must submit an SAT, ACT or Compass score and have written approval from a parent and the high school principal. It’s that simple.

“Participating in dual enrollment is one of the greatest choices that a high school student can make,” said Dr. Shelley Fortin, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services. “You can earn college credits while you’re still in high school, and that will help with your transition to college later. You’ll already have taken college courses, so you’ll know what to expect.”

There are more than 60 classes to choose from, in the university transfer pathway and most are taught online. Technical education courses are also available through partnerships with the local career centers.  Through both programs a high school student has the opportunity to finish a year or more of their college career before ever leaving high school.  Through the Early College Program offered at Darlington High School a student has the opportunity to complete their associate’s degree before High School Graduation, but even if you do not attend Darlington High School we can show you a way to earn your associates degree before graduation also! The Dual Enrollment Program at FDTC really opens a world of possibilities and thoroughly prepares you for the start of your college career. Can you think of a better way to get your feet wet with college expectations than by actually taking a college course? Whether you earn six hours or a full associate’s degree you are on your way to completing your college career expediently or having more room in your college schedule to enroll in additional classes to earn a double major or take advantage of exciting opportunities offered at the school you choose to attend.

“My daughter participated in the dual enrollment program at the college and earned 18 hours of college credit in high school before she went off to the College of Charleston,” Andrea Frondorf, a parent of a dual enrollment student said. “The great part was that all of those credits transferred, and she had her entire freshman year paid for at a much less expensive rate. I highly recommend this program.”

I’m sure the question on your mind is how much does this cost? Classes taught on the FDTC campus cost $154.80 per credit hour. If taught at your high school, the cost is $98 per credit. If you enroll in six or more credit hours, which is typically only two courses, then financial assistance is available. Financial assistance for Dual Enrollment students is available through the lottery tuition assistance program. Lottery tuition assistance will cover all costs if the courses are being taught at your high school by your high school teachers. If the course is online or at FDTC the tuition assistance covers approximately sixty percent of tuition! FDTC also waives all college fees including the activity fee and technology fee, so even if you decide to attend only one course you will still save some money.  The best part of tuition assistance for dual enrollment students is that it is one form that can be filled out when you meet with the Dual Enrollment Advisor to create your schedule. No FASFA needed!

“Taking dual credit courses gave me the opportunity to take several of my college prerequisites throughout my junior and senior years of high school.  Although I did not realize it at the time, this was beneficial both financially and academically.  I was able to earn 12 college credits toward my degree through the dual credit classes that were offered.  This saved me almost an entire semester worth of tuition and books.  Aside from finances, this program prepared me academically for college as well.   The dual credit classes helped me minimize the adjustment from high school to college by preparing me for this type of course. Participating in the dual credit courses along with extra-curricular activities assisted me in being able to balance the load of a college freshman while applying myself to each course.”  (Merritt Hardee, Class of 2009, Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy)

Not only will you get ahead while participating in the FDTC Dual Enrollment Program, but you’ll be more likely to get accepted into a four-year institution within the state of South Carolina. Four-year institutions like seeing high school students take the extra steps and put forth the effort to excel in their educational career.

“Research has shown that students who participate in dual enrollment are more likely to go to college and to succeed in college,” Dr. Fortin said. “Students can earn a year or more of college credit while they’re still in high school. That means when you graduate from high school, you can finish your bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four.”

You may be thinking all of this sounds great, but how will I know which courses to choose? FDTC has two new positions to guide you through the Dual Enrollment process. With the addition of our Dual Enrollment Team there is a point of contact for every step in the process. The Dual Enrollment Specialist will help process your paperwork for admission and answer any questions you may have before enrolling in the Dual Enrollment Program. The Dual Enrollment Advisor will assist in choosing courses that will apply to your post secondary educational goals and ensure a smooth transition from high school to high college.  Whether your goal is to continue here as part of the FDTC family or transfer your credits directly to another institution she will help ensure your success.  Credits earned through Dual Enrollment are guaranteed to transfer to any public 4 year institution in the state of South Carolina and most private institutions.

“FDTC’s Dual Enrollment Program is very successful,” Dr. Fortin said. “Some students choose to take dual enrollment classes and then they come to Florence-Darlington Technical College. Other students take classes, and they transfer them directly to the University of South Carolina, College of Charleston or Francis Marion University. Parents, if you have a high school student who is interested in moving ahead and getting a college degree faster, this is a fantastic opportunity that is right in the neighborhood.”

Go online to www.fdtc.edu and apply for the dual enrollment program. It’s an incredible opportunity, and it’s right here at FDTC. Please visit the college’s website or call 843-661-8242 for more information.

Hunter Thomas

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