Dual-Enrollment for Falcons


Farnaiza Gulam

Science teacher Joan Jutting discussing in her fourth block Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class. West is the only school that offers CNA as a dual-enrollment class within the Davenport School Community District.

Farnaiza Gulam, Reporter

Davenport West High School has partnered with Scott Community College for a dual-enrollment program. Through this partnership, Falcons will have the opportunity to enroll in dual-credit classes that will earn them a high school credit along with college credit for certain classes. 

According to Scott Community College high school advisor Janice Brattvet, West is one of the schools that offers the most dual-credit classes within the Quad Cities.

“The biggest benefit for students is that they can try college classes while they’re still in high school in a little bit more of a comfortable format and those classes are paid for them by the district. They can get college credit before they’re done with high school and so they will have credits to transfer when they actually go to college,” Brattvet said.

There are a certain amount of dual-credit classes offered here at West which vary from a quarter to a full-semester long class. As of this semester, West is running 22 different dual-enrollment classes.

“We have a unique class that we offer here at West that we don’t offer anywhere else. That is Certified Nursing Assistant,” Brattvet said. “The students can get their CNA license here which no other high schools are offering that program, at least in the Davenport Schools.” 

A dual-credit class is quite different from a regular class. Business teacher Meredith Schwartzlose emphasized that students enrolled in dual-credit classes will be exposed to college-level work.

“Dual-credit classes will give the students an idea of what to expect when they go to college. With our partnership with Scott Community College, we essentially do the same things that they do over there,” Schwartzlose said. “What we teach in our class is very similar to what they do.”

Brattvet shared that there are a lot of advantages of taking dual-credit classes in high school.

“It’s a college-level class so typically it means the content is a little bit more rigorous and a little harder, but you also get to experience it with a high school teacher, in a longer format than you would in college,” Brattvet said.

Most of the college credits that students earn from a dual-enrollment class can be transferred to any college within the state of Iowa. As for Scott Community Colleges, there are a lot of benefits that students can get if they choose to study there.

“Scott offers a CONNECTIONS scholarship that awards money to students who took college classes while they are in high school. It ranges from one free class to up to half-off their first-year tuition,” Brattvet said.

In fact, a couple of Falcon graduates last year received half-off their first year tuition at Scott because they received twelve credits while at West. Brattvet explained how dual-credit classes that are taken in high school can be less difficult.

“It would probably seem more difficult at college and that’s because you have a lot less time working with an instructor. Sometimes you only get to see instructors three hours a week, where here at West, students are constantly meeting with them,” Brattvet said. “In college, students are a little more on their own.”

Senior Adam Parcel is taking four dual-credit classes this year to prepare himself both financially and academically.

“I’m going to major in economics in college and I wanted to get some prerequisites out of the way. In that way, I could go into advanced classes for my freshman year and also try to ease the financial burden off myself,” Parcel said.

Parcel shared that it was difficult when he took a dual-credit class for the first time because it took awhile for him to get used to these classes.

“Once you take a couple and get it under your belt, it’s really not that hard. It’s just like college. For a semester, it takes you a little bit more time to get used to it. But once you get over that, it’s pretty easy,” Parcel said. “No matter what area you’re studying, I think West provides a great spectrum of classes.”

Failing a dual-credit class would affect both a student’s high school and college GPA and sometimes could affect the possibility of financial aid. Schwartzlose said that the majority of students have been successful in their classes so far and for those who find it hard to keep up with these classes, typically there is an alternative for them.

“If anything towards the end of the semester, students can withdraw from the class so instead of taking an F, there will just be W on their transcript which really doesn’t affect getting financial aid like a F would,” Schwartzlose said.

The more students signing up for a class, the more classes that could be offered. Schwartzlose encourages Falcons to sign up and experience dual-credit classes. 

“Find an area in any subject, see if there’s a dual-enrollment class. If you know you’re going to be able to get the work done, sign up for it and get the free college credit classes,” Schwartzlose said.