High schoolers learn about dual credit

Help available with application process

Brittany Hayden, a sophomore at Tuloso-Midway High School, is eager to get a degree in the medical field.

“I want to start earning credit in the fall for a career as a registered nurse,” Hayden said. She became familiar with the Dual Credit Program through her older brother, who acquired 19 hours in his senior year toward a degree and is now attending Texas A&M University. “I’m looking forward to starting my dual credit courses in the fall, after seeing how much they advanced my brother before he started TAMU-CC,” Hayden said.

Hayden and her mother were among more than 60 participants attending Dual Credit Night on April 7 at Del Mar College’s Center for Economic Development. Bob Montez, interim director of early college programs, welcomed everyone and made sure they got the information that would be covered.

The speakers for the evening included Gracie Martinez, director of admissions, who explained the dual credit registration for both traditional students and home schooled. Melissa Wilson and Annie Villegas, testing examiners, addressed the different forms of assessment requirements such as ACT, SAT, STAAR EOC, or the alternate state-mandated TSI to measure college-level readiness in reading, writing and mathematics.

Ruby Martinez, financial aid assistant for dual credit and continuing education, explained the procedure of creating a federal student aid ID and the FAFSA process.

“It is important to process the paperwork early so that students can apply for Del Mar College Foundation scholarships,” Martinez said.

Dual credit students are eligible to apply if they are enrolled in six hours. Foundation scholarships are available without regard to financial aid eligibility, and over $1 million was awarded in academic year 2014-15.

Nicole Kindzirsky and Tori Preece, Early College Programs coordinators, closed the evening with a dual credit overview, and the importance of getting the paperwork processed early, even if the student is not attending until fall, because online enrollment is already open for summer and fall classes. A list of Del Mar College student resources such as tutoring, counseling, student technology centers and college libraries was included in a packet of forms handed out to interested participants.

Parents and students who need help applying can come by the Coastal Compass Center from 4-6 p.m. on April 13, or from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26, and dual credit representatives will be on hand to assist with the application process. For more information call 361-698-1634.

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