State legislators passed a law in 2014 that paid for eligible high school students’ dual credit classes and that decision is paying off for Junior and Senior students at Wall High School.
WHS students have completed 94 dual credit classes – ranging from Math, English, and various Social Studies, to Theatre and Music – through at least one of the South Dakota Board of Regents Schools and/or one of South Dakota’s Technical Institutes.
“I think the participation in the dual credit classes reflects the high standards students set for themselves,” Wall Principal/Federal Programs Director Charles Sykora said.
“The results have been very positive.”
Students have earned an A or B in more than 80 percent of the classes they’ve completed with enrollments increasing each year the academic opportunity has been in place and students very pleased with the results.
“Returning graduates have indicated how pleased they were to have this experience,” Sykora said.
“They believe they were more prepared for post-secondary education because they had opportunities to complete dual credit classes.”
Sykora said Wall’s success in dual credit classes are due to several factors.
School personnel, primarily Counselor Kelli Sundall, work closely with middle and high school students to set goals and ensure they reach them, helping them allot their time, assigning “e-mentors” to dual credit students to monitor progress, offer assistance, and ensure students stay on track to complete their coursework in a timely manner.
Parents are also included in the process as early as eighth grade in order to encourage and inform their students of necessary requirements so as high school students they qualify to register for dual credit classes.
These reinforcements coupled with encouragement are enhancing Wall’s student achievement and dual credit program.
“Students in the Wall School District continue to look into options beyond typical Wall School District courses,” Sykora said.
“Continued attention to high achievement and feedback from students will help Wall improve students’ dual credit experiences.”