By Macala Leigey, Staff Writer
The CHS Stampede
At Clearfield Area High School, students have the opportunity to earn college credits while they are still in high school. The Dual Enrollment Program, implemented by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and Mount Aloysius College, makes it possible for students to earn up to 29 college credits during their high school career.
“We are the only local high school that does a dual enrollment program of this magnitude. There are schools in Cambria County working with our dual enrollment providers, and our students are blessed to have these opportunities.” said Susan Spaid, Dual Enrollment coordinator and counselor.
Currently, at the Clearfield High School, there are more than 200 students enlisted in the Dual Enrollment Program along with a few students enrolled in the Associate Degree Program.
The Dual Enrollment Program lowers the cost of college credits by an enormous amount, saving students money and time. The average Dual Enrolled class costs $147 and secures the student with three or more college credits. However, some course’s costs vary depending on how many credits the student receives from the class.
When compared with college rates, Dual Enrollment saves a student more than $1,000 per class and with more than 15 Dual Enrolled classes this is an opportunity for many students. Some of the Dual Enrolled classes include: Public Speaking, English Composition I, German, Spanish, Exercise Physiology, Psychology, Sociology and Calculus I.
Clearfield High School also offers the Associate Degree Program, through Pennsylvania Highlands, which enables students to earn their Associates Degree while they are still in high school. The Associate Degree Program is only open to students entering ninth grade and plan to transfer to a four-year college.
The Associate Degree Program requires students to enlist in Dual Enrolled classes at Clearfield High School and to complete online or on-campus courses. This program rewards students with at least 61 college credits and an Associate’s Degree. The Associate Degree courses can be taken online or on-campus and cost $261 per credit along with the cost of textbooks.
The college credits earned from the Dual Enrollment Program or the Associate Degree Program are accepted at every school in the state system of universities, most out of state universities and select private colleges and universities. If students are unsure if the college they plan to attend accepts their Dual Enrolled credits, they can check at www.patrac.org.
Registering for Dual Enrollment courses is a very easy process for students and parents. Students must first select the Dual Enrolled classes they wish to take and schedule them at the high school for the following year. Once the student receives their correct schedule they can log onto the Pennsylvania Highlands website and create an account. Finally, the students can register using their Pennsylvania Highlands account and follow the appropriate steps to schedule their Dual Enrolled classes.
Students will have a bill sent to them in the mail, regarding the credits they purchased online. For students who want to enroll in Mount Aloysius courses they must register using paper and pencil. Mount Aloysius Dual Enrollment forms are available in the Career Center at the Clearfield High School.
For more information on the Dual Enrollment program and the Associate Degree program students and parents are encouraged to contact Susan Spaid at the Clearfield Area High School.