New dual credit courses from K-State, Bethel offered during spring semester

Each year, junior and senior students take the opportunity to advance their education by participating in dual credit courses offered by partnerships between the school and various colleges. Currently, students are able to earn dual credit through Hutchinson Community College.

Recently, Kansas State University Polytechnic as well as Bethel College contacted surrounding high schools to offer dual credit as a way of promoting their programs and increasing enrollment numbers.

“I think it’s great these schools have reached out to us. It opens more doors of opportunity for our students to earn college credit while still in high school,” career and technical director Melinda Rangel said.

Through K-State Polytechnic, Newton students will be offered two elective courses: Intro to Aviation and Intro to Unmanned Aircraft Systems classes.

“I think it’s a way to offer an elective course that we don’t have- it’s not like anything else we have. Any student that might be interested in that field, this is a way that they can dip their toe into the field,” Crittenden said.

Additionally, Bethel College is offering a General Psychology course that, although is very similar in terms of total price compared to the Hutchinson Community College’s class, is significantly lower in price per credit hour. The class will be completed online, although less individualized in comparison to past years.

“If you want to just compare total cost straight across, how much it is going to cost to take the course, it’s going to be pretty close to the same,” Crittenden said. “It would be a good experience for students going to Bethel because you don’t have to worry about sending another transcript.”

At a Dec. 11 board meeting, the introduction of the two K-State courses as well the General Psychology course offered by Bethel were officially approved. The courses will be after as soon as this upcoming spring semester.

Rangel recommends dual credit courses to students as they are cost effective, efficient and provide experience for those looking to continue their education on a college campus.

“With the HCC classes out here [Brooks Trade Center], the tuition is free and you’re getting free high school credit and college tuition at the same time. That’s saving you $100 every credit hour. Some of our classes, EMT for example, is 10 college credit hours for free- that’s $1000,” Rangel said. “It’s free, it’ll get you ahead in college and it’s less money you have to pay out of your pocket later. I would just tell kids, ‘explore those opportunities’.”

Crittenden said dual credit courses are beneficial to students due to the fact that they provide the experience of a college level course, cost less and provide the possibility of graduating from college earlier. For some students, they could earn their high school degree along with an industry certification.

“Dual credit is a great opportunity for students to get a taste of what an online course is or what a college course is like while they’re still in high school and they still have opportunities to get assistance from parents or teachers before they dive full into it off on a college campus and they’re not really sure what to expect,” Crittenden said. “I think the opportunity to experience that in high school is a positive thing for students.”

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