BURLINGTON – With the district’s Dual Enrollment Program becoming more popular than ever at Burlington High School (BHS), the time was right for the School Committee to hear its an annual update on the state of the program.
The Dual Enrollment Program at BHS has been in existence since 2010, and it provides opportunities for high school students to earn legitimate college credits while still in high school. The program offers college-level classes through a collaborative effort with teachers and resources from Middlesex Community College.
BHS Guidance Department Director Joe Attubato discussed some of the classes available where high school students can accumulate college credits before their senior year is completed.
The courses available are Honors and AP Psychology, Human Anatomy and Psychology, Honors Calculus, Programming, AP Literature, and Latin (through UMass Boston). There is hope additional courses will be added to the curriculum, including Honors English (seniors) and two AP Computer Science classes.
Students interested in joining the Dual Enrollment Program need to achieve a score of at least 480 on the English Language Arts section of the PSAT.
“Middlesex Community College wants to ensure students are ready for these courses,” explained Attubato. “Measuring a student’s English acumen is a top priority for Middlesex Community College. If students meet those requirements for the PSAT, they have the option to fill out an application with Middlesex Community College, where they will pay a reduced rate of $260 for the class, and get actual college credit while still in high school.”
Attubato confirmed the BHS Dual Enrollment Program is approaching 200 students, as of this year.
“The goal is to have students graduate with 3 to 30 college credits,” he detailed. “The program continues to grow and gain in popularity.”
Middlesex Community College recently appointed a new director for the Dual Enrollment Program who is responsible for maintaining the program. The director will attend department-head meetings in Burlington to discuss adding courses to the program.
“The program provides a real good opportunity for students that want to get college credit. Overall, it is gaining in popularity and we want to continue to expand it,” Attubato recognized.
Attubato did acknowledge some things for the board and public to keep in mind, which includes the following guidelines: All Massachusetts public colleges and universities will accept these credits and “most” private ones will too, but some may make the students take the college’s version of the class. This goes hand-in-hand with the Advanced Placement courses. In the end, Attubato affirmed the courses taken and college credits earned would never go to waste because the colleges would count them as an elective, so each college credit would be earned, even if the student had to take the college’s version of the class.
The School Committee is encouraged by the program’s growth.
“It is an excellent program,” remarked School Committee member Kristin Russo. “I am glad it is expanding.”
School Committee member Christine Monaco, added, “Great job. Keep it up.”