Alyssa DeFranco of Brandywine spent her senior year of high school taking classes at CSM as a dual enrolled student. When she graduated from high school in May 2014 she had earned 24 college credits at CSM. (Submitted photo)
LA PLATA, Md.—At age 15, while helping in her grandfathers studio, Alyssa DeFranco of Brandywine knew she wanted to pursue photography in college. When she saw a poster for the College of Southern Marylands dual enrollment program at Thomas Stone High School in her junior year, she was ready to set her plan into motion. After submitting the required forms and paperwork, DeFranco was registered for courses as a college freshman during her senior year in high school.
By spending her senior year of high school attending classes at CSMs La Plata Campus, DeFranco said, I saved time and money, and I had the opportunity to explore different fields of study. The best part is that I was able to focus on moving ahead in college.
The Dual Enrollment Program at CSM gives high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to simultaneously earn college creditwith up to a 50 percent reductionthat may also count as credit toward a high school diploma. Public, private and homeschooled high school students are eligible to participate.
High school students will have the opportunity to earn transferrable credit and be that much closer to a college degree, said CSM Admissions Director Brian Hammond. Transferability of CSM courses to meet high school graduation requirements varies by county and students should confirm their eligibility through their high school guidance counselor.
A growing trend in education has more and more high school juniors and seniors moving to start their collegiate academic pursuits at their local community college. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 82 percent of U.S. public high schools reported that students were enrolled in a dual-credit course in the 2010-11 academic year which totals about 1.4 million students taking two million courses representing a 75 percent increase in students since 2002.
For Southern Maryland students who have maintained a 2.50 grade point average, and who have completed the 10th grade, getting a head start on college is an option, Hammond said. Students can investigate new areas of interests, challenge their intellect, enhance their studies and earn college credit while they simultaneously complete high school.
For information on requirements and deadline to enroll, visit www.csmd.edu/Admissions/DualEnrollment.html or contact a CSM enrollment advisor at 301-934-7765 or 301-934-2251.
For information on admission options for high school students, visit www.csmd.edu/Admissions/category/Special/FAQs.html.