Dual credits help save money, time

April 30, 2013

From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Column: Dual credits help save money, time” — By Sue Budjac — Today is Dual Credit Day. This day recognizes the role of Mid-State Technical College during the past two decades in helping thousands of high school students accelerate their educational attainment.

Recognition of similarly successful collaborations is happening today at technical colleges all across Wisconsin.

What is dual credit, and how does it work? Dual credit classes are college-level courses taught in high schools by high school teachers who are Wisconsin Technical College System certified.

Essentially, specific classes in the high school use MSTC books and curriculum, and students receive college credits for successful completion. Examples of dual credit classes include college accounting, advanced computer applications, medical terminology, alternative energy and marketing principles.

Each high school partners with MSTC to determine classes that are eligible for dual credit, so dual credit classes will vary from high school to high school. Eleven high schools currently offer dual credit classes in the Mid-State Technical College District.

The 16 colleges in the WTCS have offered dual credit opportunities for more than 20 years. During that time span, we have expanded dual credit into new program areas and presented high school students with numerous opportunities to get an inexpensive head start on their college education. Technical colleges across the state are specialists in transitioning high school students into higher education.

Every dual credit earned is one less credit to pay for in college. How so? With dual credit, high school students take a free MSTC college course that also counts toward their high school graduation requirements. Dual credit is thus a great way to reduce the cost of a college education.

Dual credit saves time and money. Students can focus their time in college on those courses and skills they need most to graduate quickly. Who wouldn’t prefer a paycheck in their pocket over another semester of college loans? Dual credit students also gain an early appreciation for the demands and rigor of college courses while putting themselves on the fast-track to a good-paying career.

About 20,000 Wisconsin high school students each year are already taking advantage of this head start on the path to a college degree. They learn a high-quality skill set and acquire hands-on experience in less time for less money. Dual credit students are more likely to enroll in college and complete an MSTC degree or certificate. Local businesses also benefit from a well-trained workforce. If our economy is to thrive, our communities need to embrace a healthy workforce that in turn stimulates economic growth and job creation. Dual credit is a means to that end.

If you are interested in learning more about earning college credit in high school, please visit with your local high school counselor or CTE teacher, or call MSTC’s high school career coach, Xiong Vang, at 715-422-5521.

Sue Budjac is president of Mid-State Technical College.


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