Kudos to dual-enrollment students

Published 8:29 pm Monday, May 5, 2014

When commencement ceremonies begin at Suffolk’s public high schools in a matter of weeks, four seniors also will graduate as dual-enrollment students.

Malaika Karriem and Ashley Wood of Nansemond River High School and Joshua Graham and De’Ja Lankford of King’s Fork High School have earned associate degrees at Paul D. Camp Community College while studying for their high school diplomas.

Last year, two Suffolk students achieved dual-enrollment, and it’s good to see that number doubled in this latest batch.


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As the job market continues to grow more competitive, these students have made a smart move. These days, you can’t just focus on the status quo and expect to land the job of your dreams.

Employers often look for individuals with initiative who decided they could do more than what was generally expected of them.

Having gotten some preliminary college classes out of the way, dual-enrollment students, when they get to full-time college, will have a little breathing space to think about other ways they can set themselves apart.

Things like early internships, community service related to their chosen field, or even extra classes will burnish the reputation they have started for taking on extra responsibilities.

Evidently, these students were capable in the first place of taking college classes simultaneously with high school. For other students, graduating high school and getting a traineeship, or getting the grades to be accepted into college — without taking college classes pre-emptively — is a big enough achievement on its own.

This year’s four dual-enrollment students are planning to enter a diverse range of fields, from math education to crisis communications.

As well as taking college classes while in school, they all also gave back to their communities, volunteering at church and with school clubs, serving on student committees and, in the case of Lankford, even finding the time to work a part-time job.

Three will attend George Mason University together, while Graham is heading to Virginia Tech.

I would wish them the best of luck, but they probably don’t need me to. They have demonstrated the ability to create their own luck, which is an important skill to have.