‘The best deal in town’

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, July 21, 2011

By Dr. Patsy Joyner

Dual Credit is a good example of expanded opportunities for students attending community colleges. By participating in the dual credit program, students can make substantial progress toward a college degree before finishing high school.

In fact, students who begin taking courses in their junior year can earn 30 or more college credits by the time they graduate from high school if they also take summer classes at the college. At PDCCC, dual enrollment has continued to escalate since 2000.

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Dual Credit is an option available for students in their junior and senior years, which allows them to take college-level courses concurrently with their high school attendance. These classes may be taught either at the high school or at the college in a specially scheduled college course that is open to the public. Through dual enrollment, students can receive both high school and college credit.

High school graduates who earn dual enrollment credits upon graduation may continue their studies at Paul D. Camp Community College using one of the two degree programs, outlined below.

Associate in Arts and Science degree

A part of the college and university transfer program, this degree program is designed for students who plan to complete a baccalaureate degree program at a four-year college or university. AA&S degree options include Business Administration, Education, and General Studies (with specializations in Computer Science or General) and Science.

Associate in Applied Science degree

These two-year occupational/technical degree programs can lead directly to employment:

Administration of Justice (with specializations in Corrections and Police Science),

Administrative Support Technology (with specializations in Executive Secretary and Word/Information Processing), Early Childhood Development, Industrial Technology (with specializations in General, Electronic-Electrical, and Electronic Controls), Management (with specializations in Computer Support Specialist, General Management, Hardware and Software Support, and Marketing Management), and Nursing.

‘Best deal in town’

According to Dr. Joe Edenfield, PDCCC vice president of financial and administrative services, dual credit is the “best deal in town” for students and their parents.

Students can get college credit for some of the courses they are taking at their high school, and these courses can transfer to other educational institutions. Another plus is that the cost at a community college is one third to one half that of many four-year institutions.

A student could actually graduate from PDCCC with a two-year degree at the same time they graduate from high school.

Local example

When he entered Virginia Tech, Matt Soucek transferred 25 college credit hours in calculus, biology, U.S. history, and English composition courses he took at PDCCC while attending Franklin High School (equivalent to two full-time semesters). As a result, he graduated in three versus four years with a degree in Psychology in tandem with acceptance to graduate school.

Matt’s father said he was pleased that dual enrollment credits had saved him thousands of dollars by cutting a year of tuition, two semesters of books and supplies and a year of rent and food. Matt’s mother, a high school English teacher, said, “A student who has college credit when graduating from high school is more likely to further his education.”


To be eligible to participate, high school juniors and seniors must be 16 years of age by the end of the semester enrolled; approved by the high school principal for course registration; accepted for admission by the college; and amply prepared for the demands of a college-level course by successfully completing the college placement test.

For information on options available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit www.pdc.edu.

Dr. Patsy Joyner is the vice president for Institutional Advancement at PDCCC.