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WHS seniors earn most dual enrollment degrees

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Nine Wakulla High School graduating seniors will leave WHS this year with their first two years of college behind them as they recently earned their Associate of Arts degrees through Florida’s Dual Enrollment program.
That’s more dual enrollment degrees than from any surrounding counties, including Leon, according to officials.
 Matthew Bowyer, Alexis Gardner, Shawna Gray, Emily Lawrence, Kaylee Meyers, Elijah Mullens, Kavita Samlal, Taylor Starling, and Dori Stringer will walk at May 26 Wakulla High graduation having completed the 60 hours of college credit needed for an AA degree.  
Some also chose to walk at the May 6 Tallahassee Community College graduation ceremony as well.
 Many more WHS students have earned college credits under Florida’s Dual Enrollment program, in which specific college courses also count as required and elective high school credits. Qualifying students can take as few as one or two courses just to see what to expect in college.
 “This program is at no cost to parents, so it is helpful in reducing college expenses, plus it lets students get acclimated to what is ahead of them if they choose to go to college,” said School Superintendent Bobby Pearce.
 Students who meet the requirements for Dual Enrollment, including grade point averages and college entrance exam scores, can even take DE courses without leaving Wakulla. Several DE courses are offered at Wakulla High School, the TCC Center in Crawfordville offers classes, and there are online course opportunities.
 “We also have a Dual Enrollment agreement with Florida State University,” said Chief Academic Officer Sunny Chancy. “Students who meet FSU’s requirements can take DE courses there. We’ve even had a few students complete their AA degree at TCC and start their junior year of college at FSU while still in high school.”
Other ways students can earn college credits while in high school include taking Advanced Placement courses and making certain scores on the final AP test for that course. Again, these courses are at no cost to students or parents.  
 Passing CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests is another way to earn college credits. These tests cost $100 per test, but that is still less than a college class. Students can use a combination of passing Dual Enrollment courses, AP tests, and CLEP tests to earn credits.
 “The rigor of these college classes is a great way for students to have a foundation for completing college,” said WHS Principal Mike Barwick. “Once they see that they can be successful in a smaller setting, they are more likely to have the confidence to complete a college degree.”
For more information about Dual Enrollment, contact Sherry Lohmeyer, WHS Assistant Principal of Instructional Services, at 850-926-7125.