How the Dual Enrollment Plan Made a Difference for Ashley and Brandon Durbin.
By now, you have no doubt heard about the dual enrollment opportunities that benefit BC students. Partnerships with colleges and universities such as St. Francis, Mount Aloysius, and Penn Highlands, offer students these unique opportunities to earn college credits and get ahead before they even graduate high school.
Twins Ashley ’17 and Brandon Durbin ’17 are among the many BC graduates who have been able to jumpstart higher education, save money, and graduate early or with two degrees thanks to the college in high school program.
Ashley graduated with almost 40 credits in dual enrollment and entered Xavier University as a first semester sophomore. She is now working towards earning two bachelor’s degrees (Spanish and psychology) with a minor in gender and diversity studies.
“The dual enrollment credits helped me so much more in college than I ever expected,” she said. “Originally, I had planned to use my credits to graduate a year early, but I eventually decided that I wanted to use them to get two degrees, which will make me more marketable when applying for future jobs as well as graduate schools.”
Ashley said this was only possible thanks to the classes she took at Bishop Carroll. Not only was she exempt from the one math class students are required to take at Xavier University, but she was also able to audit her chemistry and biology classes during her first year.
“Essentially, that’s when you can sit in on a class, but don’t get a grade,” she explained. “It is basically a way to refresh the material… I was also not required to take either of the labs for those courses, which is normally mandatory even if you have AP credit.”
Meanwhile, Ashley’s twin brother Brandon, is studying criminal justice administration and playing baseball at Waynesburg University.
“Bishop Carroll made a considerable difference for me in my college career,” he said. “Many of my classmates did not have the opportunities that I did in high school, and I have found myself several steps ahead in preparedness and other aspects as a result.”
Both Brandon and Ashley can both attest that having these credits in advance is especially helpful when students run into unforeseen circumstances.
“My first semester on campus I had some events happen in my life that prevented me from being a full-time student,” Ashley explained. “Despite this perceived setback, I was still ahead of all of my peers because I had entered college as a first semester sophomore.”
In Brandon’s case, he changed his mind about his career path, but having already completed most of his general education requirements at BC, he was able to make the switch relatively smoothly.
“I came in unsure of what I actually wanted to major in but started in biology,” he explained. “The dual enrollment credits allowed me to be flexible and explore different majors. What might have set other students back with a change of major put me on track to graduate in four years. I still may be able to graduate early but I most likely will declare a minor and will get to start my master’s degree in criminal investigation early.”
Ashley and Brandon are quick to recommend that other Bishop Carroll students take advantage of these opportunities to earn college credits. In fact, they consider the dual enrollment program among the top reasons to attend Bishop Carroll.
“Not many schools offer the dual enrollment opportunity,” Ashley said. “Most of the time, students have to take AP courses and then have to spend a bunch of money on the AP tests, and it is very stressful — mostly because if you do not get above a certain score most schools will not accept the credit. And the credits are also so much cheaper if you take them in high school than if you take the class in college.”