Enrollment in dual credit courses at Eastern Kentucky University has approximately doubled in three years.
Almost 1,100 students are participating this academic year in the program, which allows juniors and seniors in area high schools to enjoy an “authentic” university experience as they earn both high school and college credits for university-level courses.
“EKU’s Dual Credit Program is strategically designed to provide academically strong students an opportunity to earn both college and high school credit as they complete authentic college courses while in high school,” said Dr. Janna Vice, provost and senior vice president for academics at EKU. “Our Dual Credit students who then enroll as full-time students generally persist and graduate from EKU at very high rates.”
One reason for the increasing popularity is the University’s participation in the Commonwealth’s new Dual Credit Scholarship Program, which provides public high school seniors with two free courses per year. Students who qualify to participate in EKU's Dual Credit Program, but who do not qualify for the University’s Dual Credit scholarships, may now use the state scholarships for free tuition. If state funds are plentiful, juniors can also take advantage of the opportunity.
“EKU is proud to be a participating partner institution in the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program,” said Dr. Ryan Wilson, director of regional programming. “Our goal is to deliver high-rigor courses to high school students to help prepare them for their transition to college and the workforce.”
In the past legislative session, the Kentucky General Assembly allocated $15 million for dual credit scholarships for the 2016-18 biennium through a program to be administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). This fall, the scholarships were awarded to high school students through their local school districts, with seniors and then juniors receiving top priority. Eligible dual credit courses in the state program include general education courses and career and technical education courses in a state-approved pathway leading to an industry-recognized credential.
“We go to great lengths to make the students feel a part of EKU,” Wilson said. “They learn how to navigate the registration process and grow to be comfortable with the EKU brand.”
The following area high schools are currently participating in the EKU Dual Credit Program: Barbourville, Berea, Bourbon County, Boyle County, Buckhorn, Campbellsville, Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg, Clay County, Corbin, Danville, Danville Christian Academy, Estill County, Garrard County, George Rogers Clark, Jackson County, Knox Central, Lee County, Leslie County, Lincoln County, Lynn Camp,
Madison Central, Madison Christian Academy, Madison Southern, Marion County, McCreary Central, Menifee County, Model Laboratory, Morgan County, Nelson County, North Laurel, Oneida Baptist Institute, Owsley County, Pulaski County, Pulaski Southwestern, Rockcastle County, South Floyd, South Laurel, Spencer County, Sphinx Academy, Wayne County, Western Hills, West Jessamine and Whitley County.
EKU offers dual credit courses on its campuses in Richmond, Danville, Corbin and Manchester, as well as online and, in some cases, at local high schools. All classes are taught by Eastern faculty.