Although many students at Highland may not realize it, there are quite a few students that do not fit the mold of the average student here.
High schools from around the area have been sending their most motivated students to take classes at Highland. Schools such as Forreston, Durand, Freeport, and Dakota have been sending some of their most motivated junior and senior students to take class to receive or start their associates degree.
Some of the high schools that send their students even pay the full price of Highland’s tuition(minus the cost of books). Other students pay some of tuition, but some students do have to pay the full price of tuition. Either way, this program is a great opportunity for high school students to take challenging classes and get a head start on their college education.
Some CollegeNow students are juniors at their high schools, and will graduate with their associates degree, others are seniors, and will finish the school year with some college credits under their belt.
These students are full-time students at highland, having 15 credit hours or more each semester. They do not take any classes at their high school(aside from electives such as band or choir), and their graduation requirements are met at Highland.
While they are not required to go back to their high school, many go back to participate in sports, clubs, or just to see their friends.
High school students have been participating in dual enrollment (being an enrolled student at both a high school and a college) for quite some time now. Dual-enrollment has been a successful tool in preparing high school students for college, and some studies have even shown that students are more likely to continue on to get a degree in college.
The CCRC (Community College Research Center) conducted studies on dual-enrollment students in California, New York, and Florida. The studies found that these students were not only more likely to continue to get a degree, but in their first year of college outside of dual enrollment, they had a higher GPA than traditional first year college students.
Not only will students get a start on their after high school education, participating in dual-enrollment can open students up to more of a variety of classes. Some students in the college now program come from small high schools, where there is not much of a selection for courses. Going to Highland can help them explore their interests much more than they could have in high school.
“I think it’s a really good experience and I feel lucky to be a part of the program, I’m happy I made the decision ” college now student, Christian Pacheco said.
Although, this program is not without its struggles. The sudden change from high school to college can be too big for the students, and they can fail classes as a result of it. However, the students lean from their failures, and learn to adapt to the new environment. Some take advantage of tutoring services offered, or receive assistance from students also in the CollegeNow program.
Although it is not always the easiest option, most of the time students who decide to participate in CollegeNow are glad that they take their classes at Highland, and the benefits stick with them for the rest of their life.