Local students in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school. Some courses are taught at their high school and others are available exclusively at an SFSC campus.
Students can pursue an Associate in Arts degree through Collegiate High School. Many students obtain their AA weeks before graduating from high school.
The Highlands Career Institute offers high school and college-level vocational classes on the Highlands Campus of SFSC.
Students can earn vocational certificates on DeSoto campus by coming to our campus within walking distance from the high school. They just walk right over, and they spend half of the day with us. When students graduate and they have their vocational certificate, they can put that on their resume. They can walk straight into an employer's opening that they have for a job, and they're immediately qualified right there ahead of anyone else who doesn't have the certificate.
In the statute, the flexibility of dual enrollment says that a dual enrollment student can take class during the evening, they can take it during the summer, they can take it during the actual school day. At our particular campus, at the Hardee campus, the students come to our campus, and we schedule blocks of time for the juniors to be there and for the seniors to be there to get their hours. They can take three hours or they can take 12 hours of college credit, unless they're collegiate, and if they're collegiate, they can take 15 hours of college credit or more.
When I was in high school, I decided to do dual enrollment, and it was one of the best experiences I feel like I could have had. Taking college classes was actually easier than what my friends were going through, and it got me closer to my goal. It allowed me to graduate with my AA earlier than all of my friends, even though they all took AP classes, and dual enrollment saves you so much money. I did a whole year of college for free.