Berry offers dual enrollment to high school students

Asa Daniels, Campus Carrier staff writer

During high school, some students may find they want to take college-level classes. The dual enrollment program allows this to happen, as is the case at Berry College and other higher education institutions. Berry has been part of Georgia’s Move On When Ready program for four to five years, though high school students have been taking classes at Berry for much longer. High school students are given numerous opportunities with the program, according to Glenn Getchell, director of admissions and enrollment engagement. 

“A student gets the opportunity to engage in a college level atmosphere, really kind of press their nose, see how they acclimate to college,” Getchell said. “It definitely gets [the student] the chance to experience college but still have some of the support [they] might need from home.” 

Beyond gaining experience in the college life, students are given several other benefits. They may be able to have fewer classes in their college semesters when they start as an undergraduate, allowing them to expand into a double major or extra minor. Also, they do not have to worry about paying tuition for their classes under the dual enrollment program. 

For Berry itself, the program allows potential students to be exposed to Berry and may help them decide to come to Berry for college. 

“They get to experience Berry professors, the Berry community,” Getchell said. “We also get the chance to meet the student and see ‘How would they fare if they came to Berry?’.” 

Even on a class level, dual enrollment enriches the learning experience for those involved, Getchell said. 

“It’s all about the dynamic of interactions – what can I learn from just sitting here, talking to you? I’m always gaining opportunities to learn,” Getchell said. “So, every student that sits in the classroom provides that same opportunity, whether they are dual enrollment, transfer – those are all cool things that bring different dynamics that help you experience new things.” 

The process of students being selected fot the dual enrollment program is similar to that for actually applying to college. Prospective students must meet specific test score requirements for either the SAT or ACT, maintain a specific GPA, and must go through an application process that includes both the admissions and registrar departments. 

Additionally, the program does not seek to favor dual enrollment students over those currently at Berry, Provost Mary Boyd said. 

“[Dual enrollment] students don’t take a seat away from our undergraduate students,” Boyd said. 

In the fall semester of 2019, there were nine dual enrollment students, each taking one to two courses, from Introduction to Psychology to Cell Biology from a list of seven classes. 

There are currently no plans to expand Berry’s dual enrollment program. 

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