LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Nearly 31,000 high school students across Louisiana are currently signed up in dual enrollment programs.
The programs allow them to look at what full-time college coursework will be like, as well as a chance to earn college credits.
“I chose to dual enroll because when I enter college with credits already, and it gives me a competitive edge against the rest of my peers in college," Darrin Nixon, a senior at Barbe High School said. "When I graduate SOWELA dual enrollment program I will have 24 college credits.”
Nixon, along with around 500 other high school students, chose to dual enroll at SOWELA, where those in the program can earn up to 30 college credit hours.
“I would encourage other students to participate in a dual enrollment program because, like I said, it gives you that competitive edge and you also get the college experience, the college life, the feel for it, before you actually enter college.” Nixon said.
Nixon says he not only is he taking high school and college courses, he is involved in multiple extracurricular activities like sports, SGA, and Key Club.
“They work around your schedule, especially SOWELA," Nixon said. "They helped me out a lot with forming my high school schedule with my college schedule. They work with you through your high school schedule and even with your extracurricular activities. They are very flexible, helping us high school students out.”
Nixon said he plans on attending Northwestern State University when he graduates to study law. He says all 24 college credits he earned in the dual enrollment program will transfer and by his second semester of college, he will be considered a sophomore. You need 30 college credit hours to be considered a sophomore.
SOWELA is holding a dual enrollment informational seminar for the upcoming academic year on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sycamore Student Center. The session will include details about the STEPS/STAIRS programs, participation requirements, available classes and more. You can call 421-6550.
Dual enrollment courses are offered at all three SOWELA locations in Lake Charles, Jennings, and Oakdale.