NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Dual enrollment is a win-win for high school students during the pandemic

March 11 of this year the World Health Organization would declare COVID-19 a pandemic, two days later the U.S. declared a state of emergency, closing schools and changing education forever.

Change is not a weak power, change is the driving force of tragedy, hope, disaster, and success, it is a power we as people barely understand despite it being our greatest strength.

While elementary and middle schools were not changed as much, high school and college education was changed drastically. High schools across the state struggled to change, most of them were already overpopulated and poorly integrated with technology. Colleges while integrated with college technology and in control of the population, had the issue of running as a business during a time when money was becoming less common.

Gabriella Castro-Rovira, a high school student at Andover High School commented on the issue of online work for high schools. “High schools started outsourcing classes to online education institutes, like Virtual High School,” she said.  “While these classes where good for students who wanted 1 or 2 classes to be a challenge, they aren’t effective for most kids and quickly become overwhelming.”

Some students were able to dual enroll, where they can enroll in a local college at the same time they are enrolled in high school.

“Dual enrollment gave students a chance to transition into college early, while saving money and getting ahead.”

Dual enrollment saves the families of students a good deal of money that can be put into other life expenses, and it allows students to gain an opportunity to get college credits.

Money is a huge factor in a lot of the motivations that drive the school. While colleges make a lot of money off tuition, housing, and food services, and these services are things that either cannot happen during the pandemic. Ursula Furi-Perry, an attorney and higher education professional commented on the financial situation. “Money is crucial to families nowadays; the pandemic has made so many families lose jobs and money has overall become less frequent. Colleges are scrambling to get students into their campuses and this causing a lot of smaller colleges to close.”

Money was also a motivating factor in the high school’s decision, Virtual High School was a huge expense to a lot of schools with a lot of classes costing $500-$1,000, forcing schools to spend thousands on students in order to avoid drafting a new plan to support remote learning.

Dual enrollment seems to be a perfect medley for students and families, it saves money for the high schools and families, it allows for colleges to get students into their programs, it allows high school students to meet college students and to get college credits, and most importantly it allows high school students to get ahead in a time when everyone seems to be behind.