Trinity Valley Community College

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Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-6322 and (903) 675-6327

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Dual Credit Program Speeds Students to Success
Posted: 7/12/2016 8:01:01 AM
New workforce offerings increase opportunities for students

Recent changes to Dual Credit, the program that allows students to enroll and simultaneously earn high school and college credit for college-level classes while still in high school, are allowing more students to finish more courses faster than ever. Prior to the 2015-16 school year, high school students were limited to taking 6 hours of college credit per semester in their junior and senior years. Changes made by the 84th Legislature in 2015 removed those restrictions, allowing students to enroll in as many courses as they could qualify for at any high school grade level, with the approval of the college.
The previous legislature also created the Foundation High School Program, expanding dual credit to include college and workforce readiness, Career Pathways programs to provide for career placement and advisement to set high school students on selected career paths early, and courses to facilitate students’ transition from a secondary to a postsecondary setting.
“Dual credit provides a challenge for students who want it,” said Kelley Townsend, TVCC Director of Dual Credit. “It also shortens the time required to complete an undergraduate degree or certificate, lowering the cost of college, and creates a continuum of learning from high school to college.”
Academic areas offered include English, math, science, government, economics, art, theater, history, psychology, sociology and more.  These courses are part of the TVCC core curriculum and allow students to become Core Complete by the time they graduate from high school.  This core can then be transferred to any state-supported four-year public university in Texas.
In the Workforce area, TVCC provides industry certifications and Marketable Skills Achievement awards which prepare students for careers after high school. Workforce and technical certifications available include welding, mechanical engineering, computer science & office technology, automotive, cosmetology, drafting, agriculture, health occupations and more. The Certified Nursing Assistant certificate is one of the largest components of TVCC’s workforce section, and many of those students are from the dual credit program.
Dual credit courses are offered through 27 independent school districts in 30 high schools and one early college high school, Athens ISD’s Pinnacle ECHS, all in TVCC’s service area. Some courses are taught on one of the college’s four campuses, some are taught in 17 different high schools and some are offered online.
Students beginning dual credit as incoming high school freshman and sophomores must apply and interview to be accepted for dual credit classes.  All high school students must meet TVCC admission requirements in order to enroll.  Tuition is waived for the first six semester credit hours each semester, while students are responsible for general fees, out-of-district fees and textbooks.
The dual credit program has grown from just over 1,000 students in the fall of 2011 to more than 2,000 in the fall 2015 semester. 2015-16 dual credit students received 36 Associate degrees and 4 workforce certificates.
David McAnally, Associate Vice-President for Workforce Education, stated “TVCC is always looking at ways to expand workforce training so that our communities have an available labor force for new and existing business and industry. Dual credit is a great way for students to explore careers and prepare for the future. I encourage more students and school districts to look at workforce and academic dual credit to give students a head start on their future careers.”
Interim President Dr. Jerry King stated, “TVCC is a leader in dual credit in Texas. We have a dedicated faculty, staff, and administration that take great pride in working closely with our 27 ISD Superintendents, Principals, and Counselors to ensure dual credit students are successful in their college courses. It is definitely a win, win, win scenario for dual credit students, their parents, TVCC, and the communities we serve.”
For more information on dual credit programs, please contact Kelley Townsend, Director of Dual Credit, at 903-675-6338 or go to the Dual Credit website at: .