I first heard about Collegiate High School when I was in the fifth grade and was immediately captivated by the opportunities it provided. I applied for CHS when I was 14 years old, and took my first dual credit class that same year. Balancing a demanding college course load with equally demanding high school classes was overwhelming, stressful and something I was not prepared for. However, what I gained was worth more than I ever could’ve anticipated.
As I progressed through the program, I took on even more classes, which varied in both difficulty and demand. Now, I am a senior and am just weeks away from the associate degree I have been pursuing since I was 14. I lost sleep, my social life and a traditional high school experience, all the while securing a much brighter future for myself.
When I started at CHS, I was a decent student with a somewhat decent work ethic. My abilities in writing and general communication were ample, and my study skills were barely efficient. Once college courses were implemented into my everyday course load, I experienced several improvements in my work ethic and overall endurance as a student. I was forced to abandon the procrastination and laziness that I regularly enjoyed to maintain an exceptional academic standing in the rigorous classes that I was placed into. I had to modify my study habits and allocate additional time and effort to my assignments to ensure my work was college acceptable. My enrollment in dual credit courses made me a better student.
Because of the dual credit opportunities provided to me by Del Mar College and Collegiate High school, I am now a better writer, a more meticulous thinker, and am better prepared to attend a four-year university. The skills and knowledge I’ve acquired during my time at Del Mar have had a remarkable impact on my overall character, and are largely responsible for the success that I will encounter in my near future. I’ve recently been accepted to The University of Texas at Austin where I will continue my education, and from where I will graduate early as a result of my head start. Because I was able to earn college credit while in high school, at no cost to myself, I can afford to attend UT Austin this fall. DMC and CHS have provided me with this opportunity, which is something that I am very grateful for.
It is my personal belief that high school students can benefit from participation in dual credit college courses. Although the program has resulted in a financial loss for the college, the advantages of dual credit are of greater value. The money spent on dual credit courses is an investment into the lives of the community’s next generation of leaders. By providing students with an affordable head start to college, Del Mar is increasing the likelihood of college enrollment after graduation, as well as the likelihood for students’ success later in life. The dual credit program, though incredibly challenging, molds students into intelligent, college-ready individuals long before we earn our diplomas.