Common questions about college classes for high school students.
Dual enrollment can open up a world of possibilities. You can earn college credits while still in high school and get a taste of college academics. It can even set you up for an advanced degree or a career right out of high school, if that’s what you want to do.
Below are some of the most common questions and answers about how dual enrollment works at Southwest Secondary Learning Center (SSLC).
What is dual enrollment?
Dual enrollment is a way to take college classes while enrolled in high school. At SSLC, those college credits count toward your high school graduation requirements, meaning you earn credits at both locations without having to take any extra classes. Dual enrollment students can work toward a degree while still attending high school.
Who is eligible for dual enrollment?
To be eligible for dual enrollment you must be at least 15 years old, a high school sophomore or higher, and in good academic standing. You’ll also need to have taken the Accuplacer exam, which is used to test your readiness for college-level classes and to help identify areas you may need more help in before taking tougher classes.
How much does it cost?
SSLC will pay for your tuition and books for any classes you take through dual enrollment. If you want to continue taking college classes after high school, you may be eligible for financial aid, such as the Lottery Scholarship and New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship.
Am I limited in the kind of classes I can take?
SSLC offers dual enrollment through both Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) and The University of New Mexico (UNM). You can take any class that you’re eligible for and interested in trying. Let your teacher know what you’d like to do, and they can make sure you have the prerequisite you need to succeed. They can also help you find courses in the catalog that fit your passions or ambitions.
How many classes can I take?
You can declare a major and work full-time toward a degree if you want, taking a full course load of four or more classes a semester. It’s not uncommon for SSLC juniors and seniors to spend most of their time on the college campus. But you don’t have to take that many classes. You can also just take one or two a semester and spend the rest of your time at SSLC. It’s entirely up to you, your interests, and what challenges you’re ready to tackle.
Will the classes be really hard?
College-level academics are challenging, but your SSLC teachers will do everything possible to make sure you’re ready before you take the plunge. The Accuplacer Exam tests your aptitude and gives a clear picture of what you’re ready for. Your teachers at SSLC can provide homework help and guidance the whole time. You’ll also have access to tutoring and support on the college campus. The most important thing is that you speak up if you’re having trouble so that you can get help as soon as you need it.
How does dual enrollment affect my GPA?
Whatever grade you receive in your college class will be reflected on your high school report card. The grades you earn as a dual enrollment student also appear on your college transcripts. One credit in high school is equivalent to a year-long class, but just one semester in college counts as one credit. That means college classes count for both core and elective credits, so you can fulfill your graduation requirements faster through dual enrollment. It also means that your college grades will have a greater weight toward your overall grade point average.
Can I still do the high school activities I enjoy if I’m dual enrolled?
As a dual enrollment student, you’re still considered a full-time high schooler, and you can participate as much or as little as you want in high school activities. So even if you’re taking college classes, you can still be part of SSLC clubs, extracurriculars, and sports. Talk with your teacher about your plans so they can help you figure out a schedule that works for you.
If you have any other questions about our dual enrollment program or want to learn more about Southwest Secondary Learning Center, have your parents call (505) 296-7677 to schedule a tour of our campus.