As the clock strikes 8:40 on Monday morning, senior Amanda Hermary settles into her car and begins her journey to the Universities at Shady Grove.
Hermary is enrolled in the Dual Enrollment program, also known as College Institute, which started in 2002 when MCPS partnered with Montgomery College. This program serves to provide an opportunity to seniors to attend college classes during a regular school day at a high school satellite site. These students have the option to earn full credits to transfer to college, and are allowed to take up to two courses per semester. All Dual Enrollment courses are taught by Montgomery College faculty.
This semester, Hermary is enrolled in a business course. In the class, students discuss steps to making a business and identify why a business might fail or succeed. “I like this course because I am able to learn a lot,” Hermary said. “It will help me prepare for a better future.”
Students take the option to attend College Institute to prepare themselves for what is to come. “I want to major in something related to my CI course,” senior Jenna Traub said. “Being in Dual Enrollment will help prepare me for college.”
Dual Enrollment classes take place in periods two and three on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since Hermary takes a first period, she must stay at school during those periods when she does not have class. “It is nice to have extra time to study on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Hermary said. “But I wish I was allowed to leave and come back.”
Students who do not take a first period use it for a travel period, therefore when they do not have class, they are not required to be at school until fourth period. “Not having a first period is nice,” senior Bella Lazzaro said. “I like to sleep in and have extra time to get to USG.”
In order to enroll in College Institute, students must meet a set of requirements. According to the school’s Dual Enrollment website, students must have completed primarily all of their high school graduation requirements. In addition, they must achieve a minimum of a 550 score on each section of the SAT, or an equivalent of the ACT, and earned a minimum of a weighted grade point average of 3.2.