Putnam students can get college credit while in high school

Submitted on March 08, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Preparing for college can be more than just getting good grades in high school. Students can actually build college class credits while in high school through a program called dual enrollment. Volunteer State Community College is offering online dual enrollment classes to Putnam County students at Upperman, Monterey and Cookeville High Schools. Students need to start considering the classes for summer and fall.

"We're so pleased to be able to offer dual enrollment courses through Vol State, our local community college," said Sharon Anderson, virtual learning coordinator for Putnam County Schools. "This will help our students get a jump start on their college education and take some courses that might not be available at their high school."

Dual enrollment allows students to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Grant money is available to help pay for the courses through a Tennessee Educational Lottery grant program. Parents appreciate the savings.

"For us it's a win-win situation," said Phil Marshall of Livingston. His daughter Heather is taking two dual enrollment courses. "The cost is lower than if she took the class at a university. It's a challenge, but she does better when she's pushed a bit."

Vol State is offering 16 online dual enrollment courses this semester and interested students can get more information about summer and fall classes. It's handled through the Putnam County online learning program called Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning (VITAL). It started in 2008 and offers a number of online learning opportunities for Putnam County students. Online learning is growing rapidly across the nation. However, students need to have certain skills to succeed.

"Students have to be self-motivated for online learning and it helps if they have some pretty good organizational skills," said Anderson.

For more information about the program visit the VITAL website at http://vital.pcsstn.com/

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