McNeese program gives high school students a head start - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese program gives high school students a head start

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Governor Bobby Jindal has supported Early Admission Programs across the state for years by putting it in his executive budget for the last three years. But not this year.

The Early Admissions/Dual Enrollment program at McNeese began 12 years ago according to director Betty Anderson. It serviced 53 students then but this semester it's serving almost six hundred.

This is the first time in four years the program doesn't have state funding.

Senior Grace Dalton recently discovered the program while applying to McNeese. As a homeschooler, she felt it was a great opportunity.

"I had no idea it existed and I'm so glad that I'm in it right now because it has allowed me to have so many more opportunities than I did before," said Dalton.

Dalton believes the program can benefit all high school students, but especially homeschoolers like herself.

"I think it is a huge advantage because you get to test the waters, especially as a homeschooler, I don't have that classroom environment," said Dalton. "Ours is very different at home."

The dual enrollment program is still succeeding despite the lack of state funds. Anderson says that's thanks to cooperation by everyone involved since the program offers classes on high school campuses.

"What is so neat is while they're earning credit for their high school transcript, they're also earning credit for their McNeese transcript," said Anderson.

But no worries for those high school seniors wanting to go elsewhere. Being enrolled in the program doesn't mean you have to attend McNeese after graduation.

"If they want to go other places, it certainly does transfer to other colleges," said Anderson.

Dalton will graduate high school in May, and she's ready to start the next chapter in her life.

"I look forward to joining the campus as an official college freshman in the fall," said Dalton.

Her dream job is to one day be a food writer.

"My plans are to major in English," said Dalton. "I love writing. That's my first love and Shakespeare and acting are a very close second."

Dalton has been accepted into the honors college at McNeese for the upcoming school year. As part of her current honors classes, she is directing and starring in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew in April. The tentative date is April 15 in Squires auditorium at McNeese.

McNeese has worked with the early admissions program to cut down the cost of tuition for these dual enrollment students.The current cost per class is 180 dollars, and it's not too late to enroll.

You can call 337-562-4241 for more information about the program.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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