Current sophomores and juniors sign up for dual credit this summer and fall

Juniors and sophomores scurry their way into the College and Career Center. The center is usually not this busy, but now it’s course selection time. Half of those students are mesmerized by the computers, taking the Texas Success Initiative test, which determines college readiness. The other half wait patiently in line, as they wait to talk to distance learning specialist Tommy Miller.

What does the college and career center have to do with annual course selection for the upcoming school year? The answer is dual credit. Kerr offers upcoming juniors and seniors the opportunity to enroll in college and start taking classes at universities such as the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. If a student passes the college course, he is given the corresponding high school grade and credit. Dual credit enrollments continue through the month of April for students who are taking any dual credit class during the summer or during the fall.

Miller is in charge of dual credit, which has been offered for several years, and it works pretty much the same way each year.

“Nothing has really changed. The biggest difference is this: … you take a college class and you get college credit. And if you earn a college credit for a subject, then we, as a district, give you the high school credit for that equivalent course,” Miller said. “For example, if you take U.S. History or Sociology, and you pass the college version of it, then we turn right around and give you the same grade for the high school version. Hence, the name dual credit.”

Dual credit is an opportunity for students to get started on college earlier, by giving students credits that are required to graduate with their degree

“Most colleges accept dual credit. It’s very similar to AP credit. However, private colleges make up their own rules. Public schools in Texas, by law, have to accept other credits from public schools in Texas,” Miller said.

Even though some students might fear that colleges or universities will not accept their dual credit, there is a quick and simple way to find out.

“If you interested in a college that is out of state or a private school, go to their website and look for course transfer equivalence. If you still don’t know, you can call them and ask,” Miller said.

Sophomores Karla Alas and Julie Tran, both took the TSI test and are planning to take dual credit this summer and fall.

“It sounded really confusing at first, but I saw the benefits to be really good,” Alas said. “I was looking for a way to start earning college credit without having much of an effect on my classes. Dual credit does that. It let’s me earn my required high school credits by taking and passing college class.”

Tran is planning on taking AP classes next year, but she is worried about the challenges that they might bring. She resorted to an equivalent alternative.

“I prefer dual credit because it’s less rigorous and still gives me the same college credit,” Tran said. “I think dual credit is great for those who cannot handle the stress of AP.”

Miller sees dual credit with numerous significant benefits.

“More and more of your world is going to be online,” Miller said. “By learning how manage your time in an online environment, I think that is going to be beneficial to you.”

More than 195 current sophomores and juniors signed up for dual credit this summer and fall.