MTSU to offer dual enrollment courses for home school students

 Starting this fall, area homeschooled high school students will have a chance to earn college credits and “get a slice of MTSU” by taking classes at University College’s new Dual Enrollment Center at Bell Street.

The university’s dual-enrollment program allows high school students, who meet MTSU’s admissions criteria and gain approvals from their guidance counselors, to take college classes before they graduate, thus earning high school and college credits at the same time.

Classes are offered online and this past year began being offered at schools in Rutherford and Williamson counties.

Now, with the opening of the Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street earlier this year, University College has established a Dual Enrollment Center inside the building that will hold three sections of classes this fall.

Classes that will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays for fall semester include introductory college courses in psychology, music and communication. Like other dual-enrollment classes, all three courses satisfy general education requirements at MTSU and can also be transferred to any state institution.

MTSU officials hope the Miller Education Center’s centralized location away from the main campus with easy parking and accessibility as attractive draws to homeschooled students and their parents.

“We really envision a majority, if not all of the students, that fill up these classes will be homeschooled students,” said Matt Hannah, coordinator of dual enrollment in University College, adding that the university recently hosted a booth and was a sponsor of a curriculum fair held in Nashville by the Middle Tennessee Home Education Association.

“Dual enrollment has been around for a while, but this past academic year we’ve put more of an emphasis on growing that program and really communicating the benefits of that,” he said.

One benefit, Hannah noted, is the dual-enrollment grant offered by the state. Last spring, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced a supplemental scholarship provide by the university that can be coupled with the grant to make the first two MTSU dual-enrollment courses (for six credit hours) tuition free.

Hannah also pointed out that homeschooled students who meet prerequisite standards can use the grant toward any introductory level classes offered at the university, a smart option for students interested in courses such as graphic design that may not be available through their home education.

The Dual Enrollment Center will work directly with homeschooled students with the admissions process and pair them with advisers to help them choose the right classes and keep them on track with their coursework.

Dual-enrollment students also have the same access as traditional undergraduates to most student services, such as the library, writing center, math labs and recreation center.

For more information about MTSU’s Dual Enrollment Program, go to www.mtsu.edu/dualenrollment or email[email protected] or call 615-898-5246.