By Eric J. Greene
Vice President for Strategy, Relations and Communications at Kellogg Community College
In generations past, the traditional pathway to a college education didn’t begin until after a student graduated from high school.
In recent years, however, thousands of high school students in the Battle Creek area have discovered the advantages of dual enrollment, the term for when students complete classes at Kellogg Community College as part of their high school schedule. Dual enrolled students typically spend part of their day at their high school and part taking a KCC class, either online or in person at one of KCC’s five campuses.
As many students can attest, dual enrollment is an effective way to earn college credits prior to high school graduation. This gives students a chance to jump-start their college education and save time and money in the long run. As one example, a high school student who takes just one three-credit class per semester during their sophomore, junior and senior years could accumulate 18 credits. That student would then be well on their way to earning a degree at KCC or transferring credits to a university.
As a bonus, the tuition for dual enrollment is usually free for students thanks to Michigan’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act, which allows high schools to use state funding to pay for students’ college courses. In the Fall 2022 semester, nearly 900 high school students from the region took advantage of this benefit and enrolled in classes at KCC.
We recently asked several current Lakeview High School seniors to share their perspective about dual enrollment at KCC. While their plans and career interests vary, they agreed that dual enrollment allows them to achieve their goals sooner.
Lovepreet Kaur, 17, who plans to transfer to the University of Michigan and become a dermatologist, will have completed more than 20 credits via dual enrollment by the time she graduates from Lakeview this year. She said the most interesting thing she has learned at KCC is the way the college functions.
“With high school it is a lot of hand holding,” Kaur said. “But with KCC, I had to guide myself and realize everything was on me. This is going to definitely help me my first year in university considering I now know how the majority of professors function.”
Kate Nosis, 17, who intends to become a registered nurse and work in a hospital, will have earned 25 credits from KCC by the time she graduates from Lakeview.
“I chose to dual enroll while in high school because I wanted to obtain my degree as quickly as possible,” Nosis said. “I know what I want to do as my job after I graduate, so getting ahead of the game to get into it faster seemed like the right thing to do instead of taking classes that bore me at Lakeview just to fill credit spots. Plus, I am saving myself a decent amount of money that I don’t have to spend later when I become a full-time college student.”
Emily Hughes, 17, who plans to transfer to a four-year university and pursue a nursing degree, said she is dual enrolled at KCC because she wanted to earn college credits and challenge herself as a student.
“Advice I have for future dual enrolled students is to take as many classes as you can fit into your schedule,” Hughes said. “It is a great way to get ahead for college while still in high school.”
More information about dual enrollment opportunities for high school students can be found on KCC’s website at kellogg.edu/highschool. High school students interested in dual enrolling at KCC should contact their high school counselor today for more information.