"Fort Polk is vital to the area. We hope to unite
the installation and the surrounding communities
to care for its soldiers and their families. It's our
-Michael Reese, Fort Polk Progress President
The Vernon Parish School District has developed a relationship with Northwestern State University (NSU), and now Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) to provide students the opportunity to earn college credit at a high school pace through the Dual Enrollment program.
Dual Enrollment is a pathway that allows high school students to enroll in college courses while still in high school and receive college and high school credits at the same time. The credits help prepare students for entering the workforce with quality training.
Amber Mason has set herself up to graduate high school as a college sophomore by utilizing the Vernon Parish School District’s Dual Enrollment program.
“My classes have really opened my eyes and given me a realistic view of college,” said Amber. “It’s also made me much more interested in learning by being able to take classes my school doesn’t usually offer, allowing me to branch out and challenge myself in different ways. Earning one year of college credit while still in high school makes me more confident in continuing my higher education after graduation.”
“Dual enrollment is a fantastic way for students to set themselves up for success,” said Renita Page, curriculum director of the Vernon Parish School District. “Juniors and seniors can begin earning their college grade point average and credit while still in high school. Vernon Parish helps lift most of the financial burden for students, giving them ample opportunity to graduate high school with part of college already paid for.”
Though there are some admission requirements and a small enrollment fee, most other expenses are paid for by the school, including tuition and book costs associated with the classes in which students are enrolled.
“Parents may be concerned about students ‘growing up’ or ‘advancing too fast,’ but these programs allow students to advance while retaining the high school setting,” said Shannon Mason, Amber’s mother and a teacher in the school system. “It is our goal as teachers and as a parish to help students reach their individual potential, find their purpose, and help them realize the rewards of academic success.“
“There are students, especially those whose parents are serving in the military, who come here from all over the world, and they need to know that we are marching right along with any school in the nation as far as academic challenges and opportunities,” he said.
Another advantage of Dual Enrollment is that students who also earn TOPS can apply those funds to a graduate degree. For more information on TOPS scholarships, please visit the Louisiana Department of Education website at:http://www.louisianabelieves.com/ .
To view a video that highlights the benefits of Dual Enrollment in Vernon Parish, click here.