For recent high school graduate Hayley Tanner, 18, of Indian Head, her first fall semester as a full-time freshman at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) was a little easier due in part, she said, because of her decision to be dual enrolled at CSM during her last year of high school. Tanner said taking just one college class at CSM each semester during her senior year at Lackey High School “allowed me to dip my feet in the water” and take a little of the mystery out of college life.
Today she is a step ahead in earning credits and pursuing her degree in business administration with plans to transfer to the University of Maryland to pursue a double major in business and agriculture.
Dual enrollment is a popular option for many reasons, according to CSM Assistant Director of Admissions-Recruitment Shelby Potts, as an opportunity to earn college credit and get a sense of college. In addition, dual enrollment provides a new social and academic challenge for those who are ready.
“I got to experience the best of both worlds,” confirmed Tanner. “I had a great senior year and I got to go to college and get started on my college credits. It was not only manageable, it was fun.”
Dual enrollment allows high school students to take classes at CSM for college credit while satisfying high school graduation requirements. The benefits of dual enrollment include a savings on tuition since dual-enrolled students pay half of CSM’s regular tuition rate for their courses, and college credits earned at CSM can be transferred to most colleges and universities around the country.
As a current dual-enrolled CSM student, Great Mills High School senior Christopher Cooper, 18, of St. Inigoes, hit the ground running this fall with five college classes right out of the gate. “I know I want to be a Spanish teacher,” said Cooper. “Once I realized what I wanted to do, I decided to go above and beyond to get there.”
Along with maintaining his course schedule, Cooper runs cross country for Great Mills. Is he taking on a lot? Yes, but it’s manageable, he said, thanks in part to CSM faculty.
“At CSM, my teachers and sponsors really work with me. They treat me like a professional – hands-on. They understand all that I am juggling.”
Cooper said he plans to graduate CSM with his associate’s in general studies next fall, six months after he graduates from Great Mills. From there he plans to transfer to St. Mary’s College of Maryland and ultimately pursue his master’s program in education. “I like to keep busy and I am having a blast.”
Kaylee O’Gorman, 17, of St. Leonard, shares Cooper’s pace. As a Calvert High School senior, she spends her mornings in class at her high school campus, and her afternoons at the Prince Frederick Campus taking communication, psychology, math and English classes.
“It is more than I expected,” O’Gorman said of the dual enrollment experience. “The professors make the class. They are given more freedom in how they run their classes than high school teachers and because of that I know I am getting a deeper experience.”
O’Gorman said she plans to take more art and science classes at CSM in the spring and continue at CSM next fall. “I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet,” she shared. “But this is like a small university and I want to take as many classes as I can to see what interests me and to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
Dual enrollment is a competitive admissions program, and students must demonstrate college-readiness to participate. Students in dual enrollment must complete an application, complete college level placement options and submit a signed form by Dec. 15 for the 2019 spring semester, May 15 for summer semester and July 15 for fall semester.
For more information, visit www.csmd.edu/dualenrollment or call 301-934-2251, and select option 0.