Taking advantage of dual enrollment

Published 3:58 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022


Shelby County is blessed with some of the best schools in the state of Alabama, and one of the biggest benefits often goes unnoticed—dual enrollment.

Each school system in the county offers a dual enrollment program through partnerships with several universities and community colleges across the state that allows students to gain college credit while still in high school.

It not only offers benefits such as increasing a student’s GPA, gaining college credit in high school and getting experience in certain professional areas, but it comes at a much lower price than a student actually attending college, while also putting them on a track to graduate college earlier.

Those benefits offer high school students the chance to get ahead in their academic studies, while also giving them a better chance to get a master’s degree within a four-year period.

Shelby County Schools offers the program with partnerships through Auburn University, Auburn University in Montgomery, Central Alabama Community College, Jefferson State Community College, Lawson State Community College, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Montevallo, the University of North Alabama and Wallace State Community College.

Alabaster and Pelham utilize some of those same schools, with Pelham having partnerships with Jefferson State, the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama, while Alabaster offers the program through Jefferson State, Lawson State, the University of Alabama and the University of South Alabama.

Alabaster City Schools and Jefferson State also recently announced enhancements to their partnership on Feb. 14, which will now include career and technical education credit within the engineering academy at Thompson High School.

Participants in the program will receive credit toward an Associate in Applied Science Degree or a certificate or short certificate in industrial maintenance technology at Jefferson State.

And that highlights one of the biggest benefits of the programs—hands-on experience.

These programs are some that many of us wish we could go back and participate in now to get a head start, but now, we can set the path for current students to be ready for the real world.