Dual Credit develops skills

Lulu Butler

As I eagerly anticipated senior year I looked forward to a lot of things: the variety of fun traditions like senior overalls, football games, a higher level of freedom and of course the classes I would be able to take. Every year, seniors are given the option to decide what type of course load they’d like to maintain throughout the year whether that be taking multiple AP classes or multiple Dual Credit classes, and for me, it was quite an easy decision. 

Dual credit classes, which I chose to take, are real college classes with real professors from Collin Community College who come to the school to teach their specified course. These classes help you prepare for a typical college course load by giving you a small taste of what is expected of you, but within a high school setting. 

I’ve already noticed a drastic difference between normal high school classes and my dual credit courses. These college-level classes put a large emphasis on independent work and practice. The professors are great teachers and share huge amounts of their knowledge with you, however, they don’t care if you listen, pay attention, or succeed for that matter because YOU are paying to take THEIR class. If you want to pass these types of courses, you have to maintain discipline and hard work because your teacher isn’t holding you hand through the process. Although it may seem harsh, this is exactly what will be expected of anyone who attends a university, especially in large classes when the professor has over 100 students to teach. In this respect, it is extremely beneficial to take courses like these and develop the necessary skills before you enter into any college environment. 

Although the dual credit classes are challenging, they are less demanding than AP in the workload. A big part of my decision to take all three dual credits offered over all AP classes was so that I would have more time to enjoy my last year of high school, which is, truthfully, not easy if you take all AP classes. With very demanding extracurriculars as well, I felt that dual credit offered challenging, but doable classes that I could handle on top of other responsibilities. Dual credit classes also provide an easier way to receive college credit by requiring that you maintain a C (70%) in order to pass and receive college credit, whereas in AP courses, you have to score a three, four, or five on the grueling AP exam in order for colleges to accept the credit. Not only is it taxing to study and prepare for such difficult exams, but most colleges don’t even accept the credit for the class unless you earn a four or a five on the initial exam. Although this may be realistic for some, you take the risk of wasting a whole year of studying, stressing, and cramming for a test that may not even reward you with college credit. 

And of course, the most popular reason students take dual credit, is because you have the opportunity to have days off of these specific classes and an off period everyday, depending on how you arrange your schedule. This year, I have an off period every day in third period to use as I wish, as well as a later arrival time in the morning. Despite the nice break from school, this time off is also very similar to what your college schedule will look, as most colleges offer the opportunity to either take morning or afternoon classes, then have the rest of the day off. 

Dual credit prepares students for a real college experience because it’s a real college environment. It helps develop skills, like being independent, and teaches responsibility before students are thrown into the real world of education. It provides a more realistic, achievable way to receive actual college credit and get ahead in your education before you even leave high school. And, most importantly, it gives you a little extra time to take that highly-coveted nap.