Mississippi School of the Arts, Co-Lin partner to offer paid dual credit program

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Mississippi School of the Arts and Copiah-Lincoln Community College have launched a cooperative program for MSA’s incoming 2023-2024 junior class.

Through the partnership, juniors can apply to be a part of a Collegiate Academy program to pursue an associate degree while at MSA, through Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit with Co-Lin. Since 2011, MSA has offered dual enrollment/credit opportunities in cooperation with Co-Lin.

The pilot program will be offered at no charge to enrolled students, and dual credit courses will be paid by MSA. The funding comes from grants and private donations to the school.

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“We have been working on this since 2018,” said MSA Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Hirsch. “Now, MSA juniors who want to save time and money for college will have the opportunity to do so. We are so grateful for the funding to be able to make college accessible to all our students.”

The coursework will support MSA’s graduation requirements and Co-Lin degree requirements. Student application procedures will be distributed by summer 2023 with an application deadline of early fall 2023. The program will begin January 2024, with anticipated completion in May 2025.

“We are thrilled to bring this long-awaited pilot program to fruition for our MSA students,” said Co-Lin Dean of Academic Instruction Dr. Stephanie Duguid. “As the only performing arts school in the state, these dedicated and determined students from MSA have unique skill sets, opportunities, and intense focus that drives them daily. Co-Lin is proud to partner with MSA, not only with academics leading to a degree, but also collaborate on other fine arts ventures forthcoming.”

Dual enrollment is when a student is enrolled in a community college while also enrolled in high school, and receives college credit for work. Dual credit is when a student is enrolled at both schools and receives both high school and post-secondary credit for coursework. To enroll, students must meet minimum ACT and Carnegie Unit requirements set by the college and MSA.

“We’re looking forward to working with each of you,” Co-Lin President-elect Dr. Dewayne Middleton told MSA students Wednesday morning at the program’s formal announcement. “I want each of you to take advantage of each of the opportunities that Co-Lin has to offer.”

MSA principal Avery Peagler said the program has been many years in the making, and will result in reduced time in educational classes and earlier entry into the workforce for students.

“Many students could not afford even the discounted rates Co-Lin offered,” Peagler said. “But with the fundraising through grants and private funding, MSA will pay for the classes … Rising seniors will have their courses paid, as well.”

For more information about MSA or Co-Lin, visit MSABrookhaven.org or CoLin.edu.