This article appeared on the front page of the Hmong Times print version on June 26, 2013
By Kabo Yang
Center for School Change
Though he had not heard of the term “dual credit” until he began his career in the education field, Meng Her enrolled in dual credit courses in high school and had earned over 20 college credits by the time he graduated from St. Paul’s Johnson High School. This allowed him to take on a second major in his fourth year in college after completing his first major only in three years!
Meng began by taking pre-AP courses in ninth and tenth grade, preparing him for Advanced Placement (AP) courses as a junior and senior. To further ensure his preparedness for college, Meng followed some of his relatives’ path and participated in Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) during his junior year. He enrolled and took college courses on a college campus with a college professor and college students. Despite having to rely on public transportation and a long commute to his class, the experience opened his eyes to college campus life, especially as a first generation college student. Finally, in his senior year, Meng enrolled in College in Schools (CIS), also known as Concurrent Enrollment, courses. These are college level courses offered by the high school at the high school. He enrolled in a CIS leadership course offered through Metropolitan State University where he learned program development and networking skills. Through his CIS writing course at Johnson High School, he had fulfilled the writing requirement when he entered the University of MN-Morris, where Meng ultimately received a Bachelor’s Degree with dual majors in Math and Statistics and recently received a Master’s Degree in Education. He currently is an Admissions Counselor with the University of Minnesota-Morris, guiding other students toward college success.
Meng describes the “power of place” as a key learning through his PSEO experience. In addition to introducing him to college-level academic skills, the placement on a college campus among college students and professors exposed him to a whole new setting. Meng not only credits dual credit coursework to his success in college (he received straight A’s in his first year in college), but also in developing time management skills and strong study habits.
His participation in dual credit continues to impact how Meng views education. He plans to stay in the education field and remain an advocate for increased diversity in higher education institutions. While he highly encourages participation, he also cautions students to be realistic and not enroll in all dual credit courses. It is more important to take fewer courses and receive good grades rather than take many courses with low grades.
By sharing his story and experience, Meng hopes to inform and encourage high school students to take advantage of dual credit courses. These free courses prepare students for college and develop skills to become independent young adults. If you are interested in participating in dual credit courses for yourself or for someone you know, please contact Kabo Yang at the Center for School Change at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 645-1000 ext. 169. You can also learn more at www.centerforschoolchange.org or http://readysetgo.state.mn.us/RSG/index.html.
This article is available on the Hmong Times website at: http://www.hmongtimes.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=4940&SectionID=31&SubSectionID=&S=1
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