Dual credit gives students a head start on college/career, saves families money

by President Box - February 14, 2020

One of the best deals going in higher ed is Kentucky’s dual credit program.  The program includes two scholarships —the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship and the Work Ready Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship—allowing high school students to earn college credit in courses that count toward both a high school diploma and a college degree without having to pay one cent out of their own pocket.

Taking dual credit courses saves time and money, and ultimately gets Kentuckians to work sooner. Whether students go straight to work or go on to a university, they have a head start on their career path.

Here are a couple of examples of how the program is helping students in their own words.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College graduate and former dual-credit student Taylor Thomas said the program gave her a head start toward dental school.

“By the time I graduated from Bell High, I already had 33 college hours under my belt,” Thomas said. “Dental school normally takes eight years, but now I have only six ahead of me. At first, I was scared, but now I am thankful that I had this opportunity.”

Taylor graduated last May with an Associate in Science degree, and she began her dental program at the University of Kentucky in the fall.

At Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Katherine Delgado, a first-generation college student, earned an Associate in Science degree in May 2019, and a few weeks later walked with her senior class at Dunbar High School to receive her high school diploma.

“They told me it was possible to complete my high school and college degrees at the same time. I didn’t really believe it,” Katherine said. “But I did it!”

These examples are just two of many from throughout the state. Thirty-five thousand Kentucky high schoolers are taking dual credit courses; twenty thousand are doing so at one of the 16 KCTCS colleges. Because of the scholarship, their families saved $18 million in tuition costs last year.

Employers are still struggling to find enough skilled and educated workers. They are looking to us to train those workers and train them quickly. That’s why we’re implementing multiple avenues to get people through the pipeline quicker, and dual credit classes are just one way we’re doing that.

As the largest provider of dual credit in the state, the 16 colleges of KCTCS are committed to providing dual credit opportunities to Kentucky high school students to reduce the cost and time required to get a college degree. I’m so pleased with the success of this program and hope to see even more high schoolers enrolled in our classes.