Board takes first step toward dual enrollment program with BSCC
by Daniel Gaddy
Nov 11, 2011 | 1574 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Walker County Board of Education on Thursday voted to start developing a dual enrollment program allowing students to take courses offered by Bevill State Community College.

"I'm tremendously excited about this, and I think it's the new frontier," Superintendent Jason Adkins said.

Several officials from the college attended the board meeting, which Jasper campus Dean Penne Mott said shows their support and willingness to partner with the school district to bring the opportunity to students.

Susan Burrow, dean of academic transfer programs for Bevill State, held a presentation to the board that detailed the college's typical policies for dual enrollment programs.

She said Bevill State requires students to have a 3.0 grade point average (or a B) to be eligible for dual enrollment. Sophomores, juniors and seniors would only be allowed to take the courses, and students would still have to pay the fees associated with the courses.

The classes, however, would satisfy both a high school and a college credit for the student.

Burrow also said Bevill State officials can bring in adjunct instructors to teach a course at high schools that have enough students interested in a particular class.

"We can actually take courses out to the schools," she said.

Burrow said eight to 10 students would be the minimum amount to justify bringing in an instructor. She added high school teachers can also teach the courses if they meet the education requirements of Bevill State.

Board member Sonia Waid asked if students in the dual enrollment program could apply for Federal Pell Grants. Burrow said the Federal Pell Grant Program only awards funds to those who have graduated high school.

Adkins added that the school system could use video conference software to link college instructors and high school students in the district.

Burrow said the dual enrollment program is different from Advanced Placement courses. She said AP classes have a certifying exam that university officials evaluate to determine if a student earned a college credit for the course. Bevill's dual enrollment program has no certifying exam, she said.

"Once they take the final exam and do the course work, they earn that credit," she said.

Burrow said Bevill State officials could have courses ready for county high school students as early as this spring.

"We are just ready to move at your pace," she said to the board.

The board members on Thursday voted to allow Adkins to collaborate with officials from the community college to develop a list of courses and establish policies for the program.

Adkins said officials are also planning an engineering academy at the Walker County Center for Technology to augment the program.