DES MOINES, Iowa – The number of high school students jointly enrolled in college classes at the state of Iowa grew during the 2017-2018 school year.
According to the Iowa Department of Education 51,001 high school students jointly enrolled in a community college course last year, increasing by 2.3 percent.
The 2018 Annual Condition of Iowa’s Community Colleges goes into detail about academic programs, enrollment data, student outcomes and measures of success and information about cost to attend a community college last school year.
Des Moines Central Campus Marine Biology Program Teacher Gregory Jeffbarord said dual credit classes teach students expectations college professors have.
“They wind up with eight college credits at the end of the year, which just gives them that leg up when they are becoming freshman in school to take another class. To work, to graduate a little earlier so it’s a huge benefit for them,” Jeffbarord.
Des Moines Roosevelt High School Senior Mercadees Johnston-Stewart said thanks to her experiences at Central Campus she wants to get her PhD in marine biology.
“It has really helped me decide what I want to do, the people I want to work with, where I want to go, it’s pretty much laid out my whole future,” Johnston-Stewart said.
According to the Iowa Department of Education of the 51,001 high school students jointly enrolled, 183 received their associate degree upon graduation.
Des Moines Roosevelt High School Senior Joshua Thompson is enrolled at Des Moines Central Campus and is learning the basic skills to becoming a chef.
“This class is going to give me a lot of the basic skills that I need. It will get me ahead of my classmates. A lot of people coming into the schools doesn’t neccesarily have this prerequisite knowledge that we gain through this class,” Thompson said.
Thirty-eight point-nine percent of high school students accounted for total enrollees in Iowa community colleges during the 2017-2018 school year.
“We have really high expectations in here, because we are taking care of hundreds if not thousands of animals. Even the students that aren’t really interested in marine biology as a career I think it prepares them for any other science course they are going to take,” Jeffbarord said.
Johnston-Stewart said taking a dual credit class means more than just saving money.
“Take it, because it’s going to help you. Even taking it will help you figure out where you want to be in life,” Johnston-Stewart said.
Iowa has 15 community colleges across the state.