Cleveland High’s Broadcasting III and Web design students will have the opportunity to earn double the credits as both courses have been picked up for dual enrollment by Lee University.
CHS teachers John Souders, broadcasting, and Jeremy Burchfield, Web design, have worked hard to build ties with the neighboring university.
“It really makes them think ahead,” Souders said of dual enrollment courses. “A lot of them do not think past senior year of high school. Now they are thinking, ‘I am going to leave this building one day to go on to a university, what do I need to be doing to get ready for that?’”
Dual enrollment opportunities are offered one of two ways for high school students. Traditionally, the student attends classes at the college for credit. Another option now allows high school teachers with 18 hours of master’s credit to partner with the college to offer the class.
According to LU assistant director of admissions Casey Dean, the process is a little more complicated. Both Souders and Burchfield approached the university separately concerning their courses’ dual enrollment potential. The communications department then determined whether each courses’ requirements met those set forth by Lee. Finally, the dean of the department approved the syllabus and the vice president of academics endorsed the course.
Dean said dual enrollment gives students an opportunity to gain a jump-start on their college experience.
“It helps a lot of our students get plugged in,” Dean said. “They get really involved as freshmen because they already know people.”
Dual enrollment is not the same as dual credit. Whereas credits earned through dual enrollment have the opportunity of being accepted at other colleges, dual credit is only applicable to the one institution.
The cost per credit hour at Lee is $107 in addition to a $25 registration fee. The dual enrollment grant offered by Tennessee will cover most, if not all, of the costs. Funding for the grant comes from net proceeds of the state lottery. Last year, Cleveland High students only had to pay $46.
Students will only receive dual enrollment credit if they pay the fees and pass the course.
Burchfield said his class aligns pretty close with Lee University. “Given that I teach a section of intro and an advance class at Lee University, it ensures that students get the needed information whether they take the class from CHS or Lee University,” he said.
Broadcasting III students are already showing serious interest in communications as a hobby or career by the time they reach their third semester.
Souders said students in the third level already know how to do all of the basics. Students have learned how to write a script, run a camera, edit, interview and create a story board.
“Broadcasting III is: ‘You know everything, now use all these skills to create,’” Souders said. “So they spend a lot of time working in groups creating content which we use in the news and CHS live and other venues.”
These students are also in charge of running the morning news segment, covering events, doing hands-on activities in class and live streaming sporting events.
Many of Souders’ students have chosen to pursue communications upon entering college. Some former students are currently attending Savannah College of Art and Design, Full Sail University and the University of Miami.
Most have nothing but thanks for Souders.
“Almost every time, they will send me an email or call me and say, ‘Thank you for preparing us, because I am coming down here and some of my classmates have never edited a video in their life. They are looking at me and asking what private school I went to.’”
He explained his students already often feel like they have a leg up on their future peers by the time they graduate from high school.
Added Souders, “They aren’t intimidated to sit down in front of a computer and edit a project. That is exciting for me to know they are leaving here with that advantage over their classmates.”
Both teachers expressed their excitement and thanks at the opportunity to be able to work with Lee University through the dual enrollment program.