RHS expands dual enrollment courses

JONATHAN VARLAMOV and ALEX MULLAN

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Roseville High School is beginning to expand the dual enrollment courses offered to students. Dual enrollment courses are college courses offered on a high school campus, granting students both high school credit and college credit.

RJUHSD coordinates with colleges, like Sierra College or Sac State, to provide dual enrollment courses. If a student passes the class, they receive college credit from the respective university, which can transfer the college they attend after high school. The only dual enrollment course currently at RHS is AP Computer Science.

However, according to principal Nicholas Richter the plan is to expand the course offerings in both core and elective areas next year with dual enrollment courses in sociology, microeconomics, advanced manufacturing, mechatronics, theater, and English. In the years after that, the offerings may expand to a macroeconomics and further advanced classes for sociology and English.

Richter came to Roseville after working at a school with such an expansive dual-enrollment program it was dubbed an “early college high school” – a school that allows students to earn up to two years of college credit. He sees dual enrollment as an opportunity to give students a head start in college so it costs less when they get there and allow students to explore college in a safe environment.

“You’ll have that whole experience while you have all the support of your counselors, teachers, the wellness center and while in an environment you’re used to, before you get to Sierra College,” Richter said. “We have 2000 students. They have 14,000 students. So there’s a lot more support here to try it out.”

Teachers need their masters degree in the subject area to teach a dual enrollment course, which determines which courses RHS can potentially offer. RJUHSD will also cover $5,000 of the cost it takes for a teacher to get their masters, in order to encourage more teachers to become eligible for dual enrollment.

NATHAN PIEDAD / EYE OF THE TIGER
Math teacher Doug Ash in his integrated math classes. Doug will take on dual enrollment microeconomics next year and later a dual enrollment business program.

Math teacher Doug Ash is taking on dual enrollment economics next year. Currently, RHS offers AP Economics and CP Economics. According to Richter, the school will continue offering CP and AP alongside a dual enrollment microeconomics course, as will be the case with other such classes. AP and dual enrollment will “coexist.”

“There’s still areas of AP that we have that colleges might still be looking at,” Richter said. “So we don’t want to take anything away. We want to make students as competitive as they want to be.”

According to Ash, the new course will also integrate information taught in the online personal finance course into the curriculum. By the 2021-2022 school year, the plan is for Ash to start to take on a dual enrollment business program.

Roseville High stopped offering business in 2017. According to Richter, the business pathway may also involve cross-disciplinary work with programs like culinary that have business aspects. For instance, a student in culinary three or four may take the business class to learn how to manage a restaurant.

“We have with some of the other pathways with culinary – there is a business aspect to that,” Richter said. “There is a business aspect to engineering and we haven’t explored those business pathways, so it’s something that we want to look into.”

Social science teacher Dana Davenport is also taking on a dual enrollment course next year in sociology – a course in group psychology.

“People don’t know what sociology is, so I’m going to have the added challenge of trying to recruit by way of identifying what the course is and getting people excited for it,” Davenport said.

Junior Colin Sheidenberger is in AP Computer Science, which is also a dual enrollment course. He said that dual enrollment helps take away the financial and emotional costs of AP tests.

“It being dual enrolled really helps because I don’t have to take the AP exam and I still get all the proper credits for taking the class,” Sheidenberger said. “I think it’s a great idea to bring in other dual enrollment classes. It’d really help relieve the stress of having to take multiple AP exams.”