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Dual enrollment at Montgomery College offers students wider range of classes

Graphic+by+Selina+Ding.
Graphic by Selina Ding.

Graphic by Selina Ding.

Graphic by Selina Ding.

By Elyssa Seltzer

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Between homework, sports and clubs, most students have tightly-packed schedules, but some add another challenge to the mix: college classes.

Montgomery College in Rockville offers an extensive array of college courses for high school students during the school day and in the evening. Students often opt to enroll so they can take classes Whitman doesn’t offer or earn college credits before graduating.

Taking a class at MC can also reduce the financial burden of college, as students can earn college credits for a lower cost. Additionally, there are many academic benefits to gaining experience in college classes before enrolling in college full-time, said counselor William Kapner, who manages dual enrollment at Whitman.

“We have a lot of rigor and strong classes, but now you’re doing a real college class in a collegiate setting two, three days a week,” Kapner said. “So you really get a taste of whether you can handle college rigor.”

MC used to offer classes at Whitman, such as an Abnormal Psychology course taught two days a week, but the class was eventually canceled, counselor Kenneth Putt said. Since Whitman no longer offers Abnormal Psychology, students like junior Vaulx Carter will take it at MC next year.

“It’s an opportunity to get the experience of a college course while not getting overwhelmed and still being able to go to Whitman,” Carter said.

Other popular MC courses available to high school students include community arts, health science and business education. Senior Natalie Kravitz took English 101 at MC her senior year after her counselor recommended it to preview college learning. Taking the class motivated Kravitz to use writing as a form of expression and write more creatively, she said.

“My professor would take my essays and put them up on the board, and we went around the room and every student had to critique it,” Kravitz said. “From that, I have become such a better writer.”

Though students can take multiple courses, they must meet certain qualifications to request each course. To enroll in Abnormal Psychology, for example, a student must have earned a four or five on the AP Psychology exam, Kapner said.  

Senior Nicki Lane decided to take an introductory education class after taking child development at Whitman. She opted to take the MC class because the child education programs offered at the college she will attend in the fall don’t focus on younger kids, and Lane wants to teach elementary school. Enrolling also showed her how notably different college classes are, she said.

“The professor updates the class on assignments and quizzes significantly less than teachers at Whitman do,” Lane said. “I sometimes found myself pretty behind in the textbook readings because the professor wouldn’t give many reminders about having to read a certain amount of the text for an upcoming quiz.”

Many students who have taken a class at MC think the environment provides for a great learning experience by challenging students, making them work more diligently and preparing them for the demands of college classes.

“I feel as if there is a bad stigma surrounding MC,” Kravitz said. “But the people I met there are probably the most hardworking people I have ever met.”

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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School
Dual enrollment at Montgomery College offers students wider range of classes