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MTSU expands dual-enrollment options to attract home-schoolers

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

Matt Hannah

Matt Hannah

The university’s dual-enrollment program already 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 last year the university also offered the courses 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 to be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the fall 2016 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 say they hope the Miller Education Center’s centralized location, away from the main campus with easy parking and accessibility, are attractive draws to home-schooled students and their parents.

This photo shows the exterior of MTSU's new Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street, which formally opened in March 2016. (MTSU file photo)

This photo shows the exterior of MTSU’s new Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street, which formally opened in March 2016. (MTSU file photo)

“We really envision a majority, if not all of the students, that fill up these classes will be home-schooled students,” said Matt Hannah, the University College’s coordinator of dual enrollment.

He added that MTSU 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, making a student’s first two MTSU dual-enrollment courses — for six credit hours —tuition-free.

Hannah also pointed out that home-schooled 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 home-schooled students in the admissions process, officials said, working to pair them with advisers to help them choose the right classes and keep them on track with their coursework.

University College logo webDual-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, email DualEnrollment@mtsu.edu 
or call 615-898-5246.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)