As summer comes to a close, kids are heading back to the classroom. In some homes, parents are sending their little ones to school for the first time. In others, the older kids know the first-day-of-school-drill and they’re counting down the days until they graduate. Then there are some homes that will be a little quieter this fall because someone is leaving for college or technical school.
Today, more than ever before, it’s important for young people to continue their education beyond K-12. Back when I was in school, about 17 percent of Americans had at least a bachelor’s degree. Today that number is around 32 percent. If you include those who have associate’s degrees, the number is 42 percent.
Work in every field is becoming more competitive. The escalating number of people earning degrees and the increasingly competitive global economy require today’s workforce to have greater skill sets and more education.
Though it’s never been more important for students to continue their education beyond high school, higher education has never been more expensive. That is why we’re offering more affordable dual credit opportunities this school year to all high school juniors and seniors.
Dual credit courses allow students to take a single course which earns credit towards both their high school diploma and also a postsecondary degree or certificate. Dual credit courses can save students hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in tuition costs.
Without dual credit arrangements, a high school student taking a university or technical school class for credit must pay the normal tuition rate – as much as $300 a credit for university, distance-based courses. To reduce this cost, we are combining state funds with discounts from the universities and technical schools, to make entry-level courses at the universities and technical institutes available to high school students for only $40 per credit.
Students can choose from a wide range of courses, from biology, composition and algebra, to computer programming, ag chemicals and welding. Some courses are offered on university or technical institute campuses, while others are online.
Dual credit courses help students gain understanding of what will be expected of them at the postsecondary level. Dual credit courses also give high school students a jump start on a post-secondary degree and an early opportunity to judge what they want to pursue, or don’t want to pursue, before they graduate.
I know dual credit is just one small part of preparing young people to enter the real world – much of that preparation will have to be done on their own. Still, I think it’ll bring many students one step closer to being college and career ready.
Visit sdmylife.com to learn more.