In the Spotlight: UAS and Dual Enrollment
As a high school student, I think that dual enrollment classes through UAS are a fantastic way to get a head start on college.
Getting Ahead in College Before You’ve Even Begun
By Zoe Trafton
As a high school student, I think that dual enrollment classes through UAS are a fantastic way to get a head start on college. College classes have certainly challenged me in a more profound way than high school ones. For example, college classes provide a much fuller and more diverse workload than I am used to.
This past school year (my junior year), I took Writing Across Contexts (WTRG 111) in the fall semester and Writing and the Humanities (WRTG 211) in the spring. I found that there was much more peer interaction than in some of my high school English classes. For a lot of the essays, there were extensive peer reviews and peer editing. For example, in WRTG 111, there were weekly blog-like prompts where you responded to other students. We also had in-class discussions about our reading assignments. Our instructor was very engaged and gave detailed feedback to help us improve for the next draft.
“Writing Across Contexts” focuses on writing college-level essays on various subjects, while “Writing and the Humanities” was more geared toward analyzing literature. My instructor was really into ghost stories, so we read and analyzed stories in that genre. As in high school, the style of the class can vary depending on who’s teaching it.
These classes had a lot of homework. For example, each week I had to read an average of three hours, and then spend another three to four hours working on the writing assignments. For the first time in my high school career, I had a significant amount of homework every night and, thus, had to develop a work ethic and time management skills.
Dual enrollment classes are an excellent way for a high school student to dip their toes into the metaphorical waters of college. Sitka High School and the UAS Sitka Campus work together to cover two-thirds of the tuition expenses for dual enrollment classes, so it’s a cost-effective option for students who are motivated to work hard.
Post-secondary education can look like a daunting challenge for any high school student, and taking classes such as these can help a student ease into it. Had I not taken these classes during high school, I think I might easily have become overwhelmed by the reality check of college-level homework.
This way, taking college level classes – but only a class or two at a time – is certainly more manageable.
I cannot say enough good things about dual enrollment classes! They are a marvelous opportunity for any student, whether college-bound and looking to get a head start on credits, a student who may be unsure about college, or anyone looking for a challenge beyond what high school can offer.
Zoe Trafton is a rising high school senior who will be taking Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 261) and History of World Art (ART 261) from UAS in the fall 2023 semester. Ultimately, she plans to go to UAF and study either journalism or law.
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