Number of dual-enrollment students increases


Gadsden State Community College’s Dual Enrollment Program reached another milestone during the 2023-24 academic year. The program had 1,867 students enrolled in the program during the fall and spring semesters for a 21.4 percent increase over the previous academic year.

“We have seen a consistent increase in our numbers as more and more students are realizing the range of benefits to dual enrolling at Gadsden State,” said Dual Enrollment Program Coordinator Tonya Douthitt. “Our program not only offers a cost savings but also offers academic enrichment and accelerated progress.”

The program permits eligible high school students to enroll in Gadsden State courses concurrently with high school classes. Students earn college credit for courses that meet the curriculum requirements of approved high school courses. Students may take courses during the fall, spring or summer semesters. Registration for the up-coming fall and summer semesters is currently open.

“We offer an extensive range of course selections that will seamlessly transfer to a four-year university or will continue students on a path to a credential at Gadsden State,” said Douthitt.

Scholarships are available for up to two classes during the fall semester. The Dual Enrollment scholarship covers tuition, books and supplies.

“This scholarship provides a valuable opportunity for students to excel academically and achieve their educational and career goals at an accelerated pace,” Douthitt said. “We have had many students complete the requirements for an associate degree or credential from Gadsden State before high school graduation. They received some of those credits at no cost thanks to the Dual Enrollment Scholarship.”

Southside High School senior Cheyenne Balaam-Reed enrolled at Gadsden State during her sophomore year. Since then, she has earned credit for Art Appreciation, Speech, Psychology, History 101, English 101 and English 102.

“Taking dual enrollment classes as a high school student is preparing me early for the college class structure and the coursework,” she said. “I’m earning college credits while saving money on tuition and experiencing academic challenges before graduating from high school.”

The flexibility offered by the Dual Enrollment Program is also a plus for Balaam-Reed, who stays busy as a competitive dancer, president of the Altrusa Club and member of the Key Club, Leo Club, National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America.

To be eligible for the Dual Enrollment Program, students must be a high school sophomore, junior or senior and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for academic courses or a 2.0 to enroll in approved career technical programs. Approval is required from parents and a high school official.

Students must be enrolled in the following school system in order to be eligible: Etowah County, Gadsden City, Calhoun County, Anniston City, Oxford City, Talladega County, Jacksonville City, Piedmont City, Cherokee County, St. Clair County and Cleburne County. Students enrolled in home school programs or private schools within Gadsden State’s service area are also eligible.

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