Students at Winner High School Doing Work on Dual Credit

For Winner High School Junior and Senior students one thing is certain, dual credit classes are creating college ready kids.

“I highly recommend taking dual credits courses to anyone that is able to take them,” Junior Riley Calhoon said. “Being able to take dual credit classes has not only helped me get ready for college, but will also make my college experience easier.”

Over the past three years, the Winner School District has seen a major increase in students who are taking dual credit courses, which are offered by all six of South Dakota’s public universities and the four technical institutions.

The 2016-17 school year marked the third year WHS offered dual credit opportunities and 40 students enrolled in 40 different courses, which was nearly quadruple the number of students and ten times the number of courses enrolled in during the opportunities first year.

“If I had one thing that I could do over, it would be to take more dual credit classes,” Senior Wyatt Ewing said. “Our school has done a wonderful job of supporting us through this process.”

For the 2014-15 school year the district switched from Advanced Placement (AP) to dual credit.

“The district changed because while AP courses gave students rigor and academic advancement, it did not always provide college credit,” Curriculum/Title I Coordinator Kimberly DeMers said

At the end of the school year, WHS students had earned a total of 351 college credits.

“The benefits to dual credit courses are proving to be valuable,” DeMers said. “Students get the chance to take courses that interest them.

“The possibilities are limitless, and it prepares students for what college will be like.”

DeMers noted students earn college credit through the dual credit courses at a significantly reduced rate, which is a big draw for students.

“Dual credit classes have been extremely beneficial to me,” Junior Meredith Calhoon said “My family is saving lots of money by having me take these classes now instead of at college. I am able to take classes that are challenging and interesting.”

Students must qualify for dual credit courses through their class rank, GPA, or ACT score in order for the higher ed. institutions to know the students are ready for the rigor of college courses.

Rigors that WHS Juniors and Seniors are embracing – juniors are averaging two courses in their second semester and at least four courses during their senior year – and relishing.

“I like that dual credit offers more variety and more challenging courses that will prepare us for college and life after high school,” Junior Zach Lapsley said.