WSCC, KND form strong bond with dual enrollment courses

BRETHREN — The high cost of attending college makes it necessary for most students planning on attending to take advantage of dual enrollment course to get a jump start on the process.

When the West Shore Community College Board of Trustees visited Brethren Schools this week they were informed that the school has a large number of students taking advantage of dual enrollment. The advantage for students is they can begin to obtain college credits at no cost to them since the K-12 district they attend carries that responsibility.

WSCC executive director of college relations Thom Hawley said when the board of trustees visits various schools in their district is give them the opportunity to see how those schools utilize the college’s services.

“It is always a pleasure when we can bring the college to the community,” said Hawley. “Meeting off campus always gives us the opportunity to go directly into the communities that we serve. The Kaleva Norman Dickson School District provides many fine students for our classrooms.”

Hawley said there are currently 288 Manistee County students attending WSCC classes. Twenty-nine of those students are from Brethren Schools and Hawley said the district has also been active in dual enrollment programs.

“KND was one of the schools that adopted dual enrollment early on and the students continue to take advantage of getting an early head start at their college education,” said Hawley. “We currently have 20 students from Brethren taking dual enrollment and have an impressive total of 530 college credits. They have a commendable grade point average of 3.1.”

Hawley said that there are also former Brethren High School students who will be graduating this spring at the May 3 WSCC commencement exercises. He said many of them also had the opportunity to jump start their college career through dual enrollment.

“Many of those students have received honors or high honors and have indicated they will be going on to other colleges and universities,” said Hawley.

Brethren principal Jakob Veith addressed the board and said the college plays a key role in the education process at the school.

“For the past three years we have been bronze medal winner for the U.S. News and World Report and that is as high as we can get because we do not do Advance Placement courses (AP),” said Veith. “We are having our students do dual enrollment instead of AP and we plan to continue with it.”

Veith said they are seeing the positive aspects in their students who take the dual enrollment courses. By having a WSCC instructor in KND teacher Kirsten Amstutz makes it easy for them to offer some dual enrollment classes without leaving the building.

“We feel they are becoming very prepared for college and we see that with our English Composition I and II that are held right here on our campus,” said Veith. “Our feeling is that is preparing them well for college.”

Trustee Randy Tomaszewski said he was pleased to see the two organizations work together for the betterment of students.

“It always makes me feel good to see school systems in our district taking advantage of the dual enrollment,” he said. “I hope it continues and grows.”

WSCC president Scott Ward said he has worked with KND superintendent Marlen Cordes since 2015 when he was serving his first term as interim college president. He said they met at the Manistee Intermediate School District 2020 meetings.

“Those partnerships were easy to see among the Manistee schools and that is what makes it easier for us to work with them,” said Ward. “I really pushed dual enrollment as that was the one platform I had as an interim president. It was good to see KND taking advantage of it. I think it is good partnership for both of us, so I am really appreciative of that.”

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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