By Frédéric M. Martin, Editor-in-Chief
What is dual enrollment? The opportunity for ninth through twelfth grade high school students, to earn college credit while they take a college level course at an MUSD high school, in a high school classroom, during a normal school period, free of charge for the students.
The high school teachers involved in the program must meet minimum certification requirements set by a college program partner, in our case, the dual enrollment program is set up in cooperation with the Madera Community College Center. A teacher must have a master’s degree in the course subject and must be vetted by a Madera Center academic representative. The students go to their class, but, the high school teacher – who also serves in the capacity of a college adjunct – teaches the subject’s college curriculum, exactly as it is taught at the Madera Center, with the same text books, same assignments, and same tests, according to the same standards.
MUSD students enrolled in this program can potentially leave high school with double the credits for the semester, ten (10) instead of five (5) credits for the semester), and an “honors bump” (higher GPA), and three (3) college credits that are CSU and UC transferrable. Another key advantage of this program is that the courses are free to the students.
MUSD started this dual enrollment program four years ago, with courses in Criminal Justice (Crim 1) and Medical Terminology (OT 10), both CTE programs. The program initially started with about 40 students, with 97% of them passing the courses. For the 2017-2018 sessions, 417 students took Dual Enrollment classes with a 99% pass rate. In addition to the Criminal Justice and Medical Terminology classes, the program now offers classes in Child Development, Careers in ECE (Early Childhood Education), Ag Leadership, Ag Economics, AP US History, and Peer Tutoring.
This coming year, we expect to add 5 new courses and 150 more students will participate in the Dual Enrollment program. The relationship between the Madera Center and MUSD is tightening, which bodes well for the stated effort of the Community College to separate itself from Reedley College and become an independent Junior College for Madera.