This is the last article in my series about what I learned about dual enrollment. If you haven’t seen my previous articles – 4 Things About Dual Enrollment and Is Dual Enrollment a Right Choice for Your Teen? – you can click on the titles to read them.
The high school years can be such a challenging time. Our teens are growing up, trying to fit in, figuring out who they are, and finding out what they want for their future. Social interactions with their friends play an even more important role in high school. They cherish their friends and know that their time together may be running out as they probably not see many of them after graduation.
The final factors that you should consider are about social interactions and time requirements.
Different School Calendars – Start dates, breaks, and end dates are never the same for high schools and colleges. Most high schools start before college does and the high school may have a Fall Break but the college doesn’t. Your child will need to be more diligent in keeping up with their calendar. They may get feelings of being left out when their friends are off for a break and they still have to take classes.
Decreased Social Interaction – Not attending high school full time will affect your teen’s social relationships. They might miss out on social outings like homecoming festivities because they have to attend class. They may feel isolated because they miss events and can’t join conversations when their friends are talking about something that happened when they weren’t around. Your child will have to make more of an effort to spend time with their friends.
Allowing Time for Commuting – I heard from guidance counselors that many teens in dual enrollment make the mistake of signing up for courses without considering the commute time to get to the school. For example, a student may end their high school day at 3:00 pm and sign up for a college course at 3:30 pm. They forget that it takes 30 minutes to get to the college and they have to find a place to park, get to the building, etc. One way to counter this issue is to sign up for online courses, when possible.
Missing Important Announcements – In high school, your teen gets many reminders or announcements of changes via the intercom, teacher reminders, and through friends. Being out of high school full-time puts more responsibility on the student and parents to check teacher blogs, school blogs, and to communicate with the homeroom teacher. This is especially important in their senior year, as there are many graduation deadlines and activities that you do not want to miss.
I hope you found my dual enrollment series helpful. What are some key things you learned? What else do you think should be considered? Post your answers in the comments below.