Dual enrollment trending in Tennessee

Dual enrollment trending in Tennessee

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That hard work is paying off. Dallas just experienced an important moment in any nurse's life: the pinning ceremony followed by commencement. That hard work is paying off. Dallas just experienced an important moment in any nurse's life: the pinning ceremony followed by commencement.
And it's a similar story at Roane State Community College. It shared with us seven years of data, going back to spring 2007 when it had just 301 students in dual enrollment, to this semester at close to four times that number. And it's a similar story at Roane State Community College. It shared with us seven years of data, going back to spring 2007 when it had just 301 students in dual enrollment, to this semester at close to four times that number.
Dallas admits she missed out on things, but without missing a beat, says, "but in the long run, that's what was meant to be. That was God's plan for me. It's brought me to where I am today." Dallas admits she missed out on things, but without missing a beat, says, "but in the long run, that's what was meant to be. That was God's plan for me. It's brought me to where I am today."
By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

GREENEVILLE (WATE) - An East Tennessee 19-year-old has gotten a jump on her nursing career. She's well ahead of others her age because she started college while still in high school through dual enrollment.

It's becoming a trend in Tennessee.

Dallas Ball of Mosheim is the youngest in her nursing class at Walters State Community College in Greeneville.

"I do take pride in how much, how hard, I worked for what I have," she said.

That hard work is paying off. Ball just experienced an important moment in any nurse's life: the pinning ceremony followed by commencement.

Ball spent her entire senior year of high school on a college campus as part of the dual enrollment program.

When she graduated from South Greene High, she was only a few credits shy of her Associate's of Applied Science degree.

Ball is among a growing number of students fast tracking their college careers through dual enrollment.

In the fall of 2011, Walters State had 956 students taking dual enrollment courses.

By fall of 2013, that number increased more than 30 percent and is expected to go up even more next semester.

"We expect that trend to continue forward," said Matthew Hunter, dean of distance education at Walters State."How long that'll stay, we don't know."

Pellissippi State's dual enrollment program is called "Fast Forward."  The school says 1273 students were taking advantage of the opportunity back in 2010. The numbers are up to 1427 students this year.

It's a similar story at Roane State Community College. It shared with us seven years of data, going back to spring 2007 when it had just 301 students in dual enrollment, to this semester at close to four times that number.

In fact, more dual enrollment courses were taken by students this spring than ever before at Roane State.

More Knox County high school students are taking advantage of dual enrollment opportunities.

Across the school district, the number of college credit courses taken from last year to this year has jumped by more than 400.

The main reason for the increase is that these programs can offer a more affordable option than a traditional college plan through a grant program funded by the Tennessee lottery.

"They can get basically four classes, almost a full semester, done , with less than a thousand dollars out of their pocket," explained Hunter.

Some might say that students like Ball, though, paid a high price by sacrificing a big chunk of the traditional teenage experience.

It's something Pellissippi State wants students to think seriously about, even posing questions on its website, wanting students to be ready , because it is a challenge.

Ball admits she missed out on things, but without missing a beat, said, "But in the long run, that's what was meant to be. That was God's plan for me. It's brought me to where I am today."

Students like Ball have an advantage when they transfer to universities to complete their college careers.

Walters State says one student transferred to Vanderbilt as a junior just out of high school. Another entered law school at the age of 20, striking down the stigma some students attach to community college.

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