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Students Succeed with Concurrent Enrollment

8/18/2014

Concurrent enrollment allows high school seniors who are academically ready to take on the challenge of concurrent enrollment to get a great start on basic general education courses that support collegiate degrees. In many cases high schools offer dual credit for certain courses which is an advantage for the student. Thanks to the support of the State Regents of Oklahoma, seniors in high school can take a total of eighteen collegiate hours tuition free. Students are only responsible for books and fees for the courses. Students can take six hours the summer before their senior year and six hours in each of the subsequent fall and spring semesters.

“Concurrent enrollment gets students thinking early about earning that college degree,” says Amanda Baldridge, Executive Director of Advisement and Ardmore Services. “They gain confidence with successful experiences in the collegiate classroom and this promotes degree completion when they graduate high school and become full-time college students.”

High school students who concurrently enroll at Murray State College receive special recognition at their graduation. Through a new program started last spring, MSC gives red, white and blue honor cords to graduating seniors who had successfully completed concurrent courses. The students then wear those cords as they get their diplomas to signify their academic achievement.
 
“Students were excited to see us honoring them and were proud to receive their cord,” says Nenninger. “Most every high school thanked us for recognizing the hard work their students put into their coursework. It was amazing how much of a positive impact that simple honor cord made.”
 
Area high schools that take advantage of concurrent enrollment benefit as well. Through the program, the school can provide more options for student with no major budget increase required. At the option of the school district, courses may count as dual credit satisfying both the high school requirement and the college program requirement. Students that participate in current enrollment during high school perform better at the college level than other first time entering freshman students.
 
“The concurrent enrollment program is one of those initiatives that benefits everyone,” says Murray State College President Joy McDaniel. “Those eighteen hours of college coursework are completely tuition-free, which is great for parents. High schools can benefit by increasing their offerings. The College gets a greater diversity of enrollment. And of course the ones who benefit the most are the students. It’s a great program.”

President McDaniel knows first-hand how concurrent enrollment can lead to academic success. Her daughter, Conner, participated in the program as a student at Ardmore High School. Just six months after Conner graduated from high school, she will receive an associate degree from MSC.
 
“I wanted to concurrently enroll so that I could get a step ahead,” says Conner. “Taking classes in high school gave me an advantage. I have forty-nine credit hours already, and will receive a diploma from Murray this December. All the hard work will pay off in the end. I am going to begin nursing school at Murray this fall.”

Conner’s success story is just one of many. In the last academic year, there were close to 700 high school students across the area who took advantage of the program.

“Concurrent enrollment at Murray State College is in the rise, and I expect that trend to hold,” says President McDaniel. “As more and more schools and parents hear about the program and find out what a big benefit and value it is, how can they not take advantage of it?”

To find out more about concurrent enrollment at Murray State College, contact the MSC Advisement Office at 580-387-7200 or visit www.mscok.edu.

Participating High Schools in the Murray State College Concurrent Enrollment Program: Last academic year (2013-2014), thirty-one area schools participated in the MSC Concurrent Enrollment Program. In total, almost 700 students got a jump-start on higher education by earning college credits in high school

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