Not too many people can say that they are finished with their college math requirements before they even graduate from high school, but high school student Aleksandr Migovich can.
He has completed Calculus I, II, III, and differential equations — the requirement to complete his engineering degree in college, even before graduating from high school. He was able to do this by registering for the dual enrollment program at Cleveland State.
A dual enrollment class is taught by college-qualified faculty, and college credit and possible high school credit is awarded to students who successfully complete the course. College credit earned through dual enrollment typically will transfer to other institutions of higher education.
“My sister is the one who got me involved with dual enrollment,” stated Migovich. “She is a senior at UTC about to graduate with her electrical engineering degree. She knew that I wanted to major in engineering and suggested that I go ahead and get my math courses out of the way. She didn’t take advantage of dual enrollment while she was in high school and didn’t want to see me make the same mistakes that she did. She knew it would help me in the long run.”
“Aleksandr always comes to class prepared to learn,” stated Dr. Mathai Augustine, CSCC professor of mathematics/physics. “He often asks questions that help me to explain things in a way that benefit the whole class. It has been a joy to have him at Cleveland State.”
Migovich said, “Dr. Augustine has been a great teacher. His office is always open. I don’t have to be scared that I am asking a stupid question with him; there is no such thing as a stupid question. He will walk you through the entire math problem to see what part is giving you trouble. I have really learned a lot with him.”
Cleveland State’s Dual Enrollment program had a record enrollment this past spring with 540 students registering to take classes.
Jason Sewell, CSCC director of student relations, said, “Guidance counselors, teachers, parents, and students are really starting to understand the big picture of taking dual enrollment classes. It presents the students with a great opportunity to get started on their college career while still in high school.”
Migovich stated, “I have had a really good experience at Cleveland State. Jason (Sewell) and Jan (Peterson) in the dual enrollment department have been great. They are very helpful. They always help me with my grant money and they helped me find other scholarships that are available. They also helped me find classes for the time slots that I needed.”
For students to be eligible to take advantage of dual enrollment, they must be a high school junior or senior, have a 3.0 high school GPA, and meet appropriate ACT or ACT PLAN scores in the subject area they wish to take (English-18, Math-19, Reading-19).
Sewell said, “Dual enrollment has increased at many of the schools in the CSCC service area. Walker Valley, Polk, Meigs, McMinn County, and McMinn Central have had more students taking advantage of dual enrollment than ever before. Home-school student enrollment has grown as well.”
Dual enrollment courses are delivered in a variety of ways. Students can take courses at any of our three campus sites, online courses through the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP), or depending on the high school and what courses have been arranged through guidance to offer, students may have the convenience of taking those classes at their high school.
Sewell added, “One of the subjects that is really becoming a hit at the high schools is math due to the way we deliver our math courses.”
A few years ago, Cleveland State’s Math Department completed a redesign of its developmental studies program which enabled faculty to redesign courses and to set up a mathematics lab with a 1+2 format, one hour class meeting each week and two hours of lab work, instead of the typical three hour class meeting format.
The Math Redesign project won the prestigious Bellwether Award, given annually by the Community College Futures Assembly.
The Bellwether Award was established to recognize outstanding programs that are at the forefront of innovation throughout the United States and Canada.
“Not only are students taking advantage of dual enrollment now more than ever, the success rate that students are having is incredible,” stated Sewell.
“Since 2008, some 98 percent of students enrolled in dual enrollment courses have finished with the grade of a C or better. We have even had students graduate with their associate’s degree the first week in May and then, two or three weeks later, graduate with their high school diploma.”
With the focus on high school education in Tennessee being for students to complete a degree in a more timely fashion, dual enrollment is definitely helping students and the state reach their shared goal. The state of Tennessee believes dual enrollment is such an important opportunity that it has designated lottery money to assist students with the cost of tuition for classes. The Dual Enrollment Grant allows high school juniors and seniors to take one course (up to $300) per semester. Students who currently meet HOPE scholarship criteria may take an additional course and receive up to an additional $300.
Sewell said, “Cleveland State believes in the opportunity for students to take dual enrollment so much that starting this Fall 2013, CSCC will pay the balance of one course beyond the lottery grant to any student in our service area who qualifies to take dual enrollment.”
Migovich said, “Taking dual enrollment courses is a lot better than trying to pack your college schedule with classes. This way, you can get those classes out of the way while you are in high school and be a lot less stressed once you enter college. That’s why I chose dual enrollment. Why not take something that will actually benefit you in the long run?”
For more information on Cleveland State’s dual enrollment program, visit www.clevelandstatecc.edu or call 423 614-8734.
Aleksandr Migovich and Dr. Mathai Augustine.