Working together: CHS and Penn State offer dual enrollment


Mackenzie Miller

The Penn State logo, printed on an official pennant from the school. Penn State University offers dual enrollment courses for juniors and seniors at CHS.

Skylar Bowers, Student Life Editor

Penn State and CHS are partnering together to create a new opportunity for students in the area and that opportunity is the chance to experience a college class firsthand.

Carlisle High School has begun to offer Dual Enrollment courses with Penn State University. Dual Enrollment classes are college-level classes that students can take in high school. They are usually directed by a nearby college.

There are eight 90-minute Penn State classes available to students, all of which are taught by a Penn State University Professor.

Ever since the program began three years ago, the Penn State classes have heavily evolved. When the classes were first developed, only two classes were offered, and the classes developed specially for the program were mostly business classes. Now, there are eight classes offered, with 32 students altogether from CHS and nearby high schools. The classes that are currently offered are mostly general credit classes, so now anyone can attend the classes for basic credits.

“We had a lot of parents asking for it because it’s just a trend across the country where more and more high schools are partnering with university programs,” said Johanna Jones, overseer of the program and CHS head counselor.

The classes are offered to all juniors and seniors, and each class is set up like a class that you would take on college campus. The college credits count as general credits.

The PSU classes start at 7:15 a.m. and end at 8:45 a.m. In PSU English Rhetoric and Composition, students begin the class by sitting down and getting out assignments to submit. Then John McGinley, the professor, begins his lecture on the lesson of the day.

The class is similar to a high school class, but there is a lot of independence that is required, and more advanced work is  necessary.

“It is also a great opportunity for high school students to get a taste of what a college class is like,” McGinley said. “The other thing that is interesting about the class is that it relies greatly on technology.”

After the 90 minute class is over, the professor usually assigns 90 minutes worth of independent reading, analysis, and assignments, most of it is online. So instead of taking three hours of classes each week like normal colleges,students experience one class with work you do by yourself.

High school college classes allows students to participate in high school activities while taking college level classes instead if just graduating early or taking their senior year at an actual college.

“So imagine you get to have this experience of being in a college level class, you are still at home with mom and dad and you’re with your friends and all your comforts are still there,” Jones said.

The classes take place once a week; students enrolled in the courses then have a free period every other day of the week at this time.

These PSU courses typically cost around $872, which is about half of what a course at a college would be, and it includes the teaching of PSU professor and a textbook. Each course is worth three college credits and one high school credit. There is currently no financial aid available at the time.

Jones said, “At a big university, a private university, you could pay three, four, five thousand dollars for one class, maybe more; to get the class and get a Penn State credit for a little over 800 dollars is a good deal.”

Since CHS is the biggest high school in this area, the classes are hosted here in the Fowler LGI, while students from other schools, including Big Springs and Boiling Springs, have to come to CHS to take the classes.        

The PSU classes are a way to prepare for future, especially for college. Alexis Etter, who was a CHS student who graduated in 2017 and now a college student at Shippensburg University, took the PSU classes and is grateful for the experience and credits of these classes.

“We have families who know that they got younger kids now and they’re going to come up into the high school eventually, like I’m absolutely going to sign up my kids up these things and plan for, you know, in ahead of time with the financial end of it because it’s such a great bargain,” Jones said.

Four PSU classes were offered in fall 2017: PSU English Rhetoric & Composition, PSU American Civilization Pre-1877, PSU Intro to Macroeconomic Analysis, and PSU Intro to Sociology. Four more classes will be offered in Spring 2018: PSU Intro to Psychology, PSU English Effective Speech, PSU Plant Biology Gymnosperms, and PSU American Civilization Post-1877.