MHS students take learning to the next level

Published 9:36 am Friday, December 23, 2011

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Guest Columnist

With an enthusiastic “It’s a great day for history,” the university professor begins his class. Seated among his students are not just college freshmen, but high school seniors participating in the dual enrollment program. For these Montevallo High School students, their school day comprises their classes within the walls of their historic school building, but also across the street at the University of Montevallo.

Maryann Lee takes AP classes at the high school, helped to lead the volleyball team to state playoffs, plays tennis, is editor of the school paper, was selected as homecoming queen and takes college freshmen classes.

“For three days of the week, I am able to walk to the university, take a class and get started earning college credit,” Lee said.

Lee experienced the rigor of a college course in which much note-taking and studying was expected, with only four quizzes and one final test in which to prove her understanding of the course material. She looks forward to continuing her studies at the university next semester with the same professor, who exhibited much enthusiasm for his subject.

“Dr. Fallin made history a story in his presentation. He did not just give facts, but engaged the class with the real life experiences that were part of world history,” Lee said.

Trey Colley, a classmate of Lee’s at MHS, where he is an AP student, serves as president of student government, and plays on the MHS Bulldogs football team, was also enrolled in the same college class.

“Taking a college class helped enlighten me to the reality of college life — everyday student life, relationships with professors and collaboration with other students,” Colley said.

Due to the school’s proximity to the University of Montevallo, MHS students are at an advantage when it comes to participating in dual enrollment. Regardless, the most advantageous aspect of such a program is the preparation for college students receive.

This is reflected in their high school courses because expectations for themselves elevate, work ethic improves and the quality of work develops. Interestingly, these same characteristics contribute to being a good employee or employer, as well as being an effective community member.

Michelle Adams is an English teacher at Montevallo High School. Contact her at