Record Numbers of High School Students Benefit from Dual Enrollment Program with Thomas Nelson Community College


Published: August 23, 2006

Registration for Dual Enrollment Courses Start October 1

THE VIRGINIA PENINSULA – The number of high school students taking advantage of the dual enrollment program offered by Thomas Nelson Community College through the public school systems on the Peninsula has grown by 480% since 2003 – 2004. During the 2005-06 year, 1,490 students or 231 FTEs participated in the program. In 2003-04, the college had 310 students or 66 FTEs participating in the dual enrollment program.

Currently, all the school systems in the service area of Thomas Nelson Community College, including Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, York County, Williamsburg-James City County, and New Horizons Regional Technical Center and Governors School are participating in the dual enrollment program with Thomas Nelson, as are Hampton Christian Schools and Denbigh Baptist Christian School. Dual enrollment courses are available in Administration of Justice, Automotive Technology, Business, Computer Animation, Early Childhood Development, History, Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, Machine Tool Technology, Marketing, Physics and Science.

Dual enrollment is a program that allows high school students to simultaneously earn college credit toward a post-secondary diploma, certificate, or degree at a Virginia public institution that will also count as credit toward a high school diploma. “It is a win-win situation for high school students,” said Dr. Crystal B. Taylor, TNCC Director of Outreach and Recruitment. “Through dual enrollment, students earn college credits while attending high school. The credits earned can shorten the time they need to get their college degree and can also represent significant savings in tuition costs.” College course credits are transferable to most Virginia colleges and other public colleges and universities. The local school divisions receive a discounted rate for tuition.

The program’s original intent was to open an avenue to higher education for students not considering college.” Taylor explains. “Currently, many of the students who chose dual enrollment are planning to attend Thomas Nelson or a four-year university upon graduation,” she added.
The classes offered through dual-enrollment are not supplanting courses taught at the high school. The intent is to have students take a course that the high school offers and help them with the transition to college. “Dual enrollment is a great way of getting a head start on college classes,” said Taylor. “It encourages students to attend college and shows them that this is a viable option and that they can be successful.”

Dual enrollment is open to any high school student at the participating schools. Home schooled students are also encouraged to participate. Registration for dual enrollment courses through Thomas Nelson Community College will take place October 1 – 15, 2006. To find out about the specific dual enrollment courses to be offered in the high schools and to register, students can contact their high school counselors. Dual enrollment information, application for admission at Thomas Nelson Community College and permission forms will be available at all Peninsula high schools beginning October 1.

More information on the dual enrollment program can be provided to students by their high school counselors, by talking to their high school teachers or by calling Tanya Purcell, Dual Enrollment Coordinator at Thomas Nelson Community College at 757-825-2905.

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