Dual enrollment numbers increase at Co-Lin: More than 300 Lincoln County students benefit from program

Published 10:10 am Friday, November 6, 2015

Copiah-Lincoln Community College continues to see an increase in its dual enrollment program with local high schools.

Co-Lin Vice President of Instructional Services Jane Hulon told board members Thursday the dual enrollment classes allow students to get college credit while still in high school. The classes are taught on high school campuses, each of the three Co-Lin campuses and online.

The state provides incentives that promote dual enrollment and AP credit in high school, and Co-Lin will continue to try to meet that need. The program currently costs about $100 per class for the students.

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“It’s a great opportunity for the kids,” Terry Brister, Lincoln County School District Superintendent and Co-Lin trustee, said.

In the 2012-2013 school year, 486 students were enrolled in the program. During the 2014-2015 school year, 1,193 students were enrolled in the program. All area schools currently participate with about 350 students in Lincoln County participating. Brookhaven Academy has the highest number of students with 128.

The board asked about the cost of the program, and Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said that is an issue all community colleges are faced with because it is an expense to the college.

“What caught us off guard was we didn’t know what the interest would be,” he said.

Nettles said there’s also an indirect cost associated with the program — for those who take four or five dual enrollment classes, they can graduate Co-Lin in just three semesters versus the traditional four. He said that’s great for the students, but the school will need to keep an eye on how that affects revenue.

However, neither Nettles nor Hulon cited any changes at this time.

“We are trying to do what’s responsible as we prepare for the future,” she said.

In other board business Thursday:

• The board learned that the Early Childhood Development building opened Wednesday. A ribbon cutting will be scheduled sometime during the spring semester.

• Enrollment for the spring semester has begun, with approximately 1,800 students preregistered as of Thursday afternoon.

• Nettles said the heavy rains revealed several leaks in buildings, and they are working to correct those now.

• The board approved the retirement of Velesta Young as accounts payable manager at the Wesson campus.

• The board approved the appointment of Charles Hart as the interim director of the Co-Lin Foundation, effective Jan. 1. The current director has turned in his resignation, effective Dec. 31. Hart, a CPA, works on campus as an instructor and as the bookstore manager. He is also a member of the Foundation and handles its finances. Nettles said while they search for a new director, the Foundation needs someone who has the authority to sign checks and manage the books. He said Hart would be the best short-term solution.