Dual Enrollment changes explained

Parker E. Marshall, Staff Writer

Starting this school year, Clearfield High School is now dual enrolling credits through Mount Aloysius. This decision to change was made by the administrators and Dr. Spaid, the Clearfield Area Jr.-Sr. High School Guidance Counselor. Clearfield now primarily dual enrolls through Mount Aloysius, but courses are still being offered through Penn Highlands and Pitt Bradford.

But why did this change happen and how will it affect students? According to Dr. Spaid: “The Mount is a private 4 year degree granting institution and people feel that dual enrollment courses from a private 4 year institution look great on a transcript versus a community college,” said Dr. Spaid.

Mount Aloysius declared Clearfield High School a “site” through their accrediting program. This means that Clearfield students have the ability to take an unlimited amount of credits through the dual enrollment program.

Penn Highlands, however, limited students to only 29 credits. This means that students have the opportunity to save more money on college classes through Mount Aloysius than they do with Penn Highlands. Clearfield learned that a school in Altoona recently began the Associate’s Program, said Dr. Spaid. Clearfield became interested in this and decided that if they were going to have their Associate’s Program through Mount Aloysius, it was natural to have dual enrollment credits through them, too.

Another advantage to having dual enrollment credits through Mount Aloysius is that they do not require placement tests to dual enroll. This makes it easier for students to dual enroll and is less of a disruption to their learning, said Dr. Spaid. For students to dual enroll classes, they only have to fill out a paper form through Mount Aloysius instead of the two-step process online for Penn Highlands.

For the current juniors and seniors who are enrolled in the Associate’s Program, they will continue this program through Penn Highlands. For the current freshman and sophomores, they will be enrolling in the Associate’s Program through Mount Aloysius. The students that will be taking this program through Mount Aloysius will have the opportunity to take more courses for a lower cost compared to the higher price of the online classes through Penn Highlands.

There is also no placement test for the Associate’s Program either. Through the Mount Aloysius program, parents will also have the option to pay for the courses over a ten-month period instead of having to pay for the courses every semester, explained Dr. Spaid.

“Dual enrollment is a great way to save tons of money for college.  We have been attempting to find scholarships for students to take dual enrollment courses and Mr. Struble, our superintendent, continues to look for scholarship dollars to help.   The administration and faculty believe in this program – it really sets us apart as a school.  Many students communicate with me and tell me how happy they are they did dual enrollment because it’s cutting a year or 3 semesters off their college time – which is a huge savings and gets them out into the workforce faster,” said Dr. Spaid.