Begin Earning College Credit Sooner

Published on: March 05, 2008

High school juniors and seniors are smart!  They know the advantages of earning college credit while still in high school.  They are saving thousands of dollars in college tuition and are getting a head start on their college education by taking classes while still in high school.

Two recent Kingwood High School graduates are well on their way to successful college careers, due in large part to dual credit classes taken through Lone Star College-Kingwood. 

The 33 hours of dual credit that Kingwood High School graduate Rachel Bubier earned allowed her to skip many required freshman level courses.

"It also allowed me the freedom to do a double major or minor and take courses that I typically wouldn't be able to take because of having so many prerequisites," says Bubier.

All of her dual credit hours transferred to Syracuse University, where she is pursuing a major in sports management and a double minor in public affairs and social welfare.

She says, "I was able to do all of that because of dual credit."

Ellen Fagin wasn't sure what she wanted to major in when she graduated from Kingwood High School, but says having the dual credit hours when she went to the University of Oklahoma allowed her the chance to explore her options.

"All of my 30 dual credit hours transferred and that freed up my schedule and gave me more flexibility and opportunities than friends of mine who came in as freshman," says Fagin.  She has decided to obtain a history degree with a teacher certification and teach high school social studies when she graduates.

Both students say taking the time to talk to their high school counselors and enroll in the dual credit classes was easy. 

Bubier says, "It's the exact same course work that you would normally take in an AP or honors class, but you're getting college credit."  She adds, "The cost compared to college courses is significantly less and your parents will appreciate that."

The Dual Credit program is designed for high school juniors and seniors ready for college-level instruction. Qualified students can earn high school and college credits simultaneously by attending classes during regular school hours at their high school or by attending classes on the LSC-Kingwood campus.

Dual credit classes are transferrable to public colleges or universities in Texas. For out-of-state or private colleges and universities, contact your high school counselor or the institution regarding transferability information.

Fifty percent of in-district tuitions costs are waived for dual credit students. Textbooks, unless available at your high school, must be purchased and a nominal charge will also be assessed for registration, student activity and technology fees.

To enroll in the Dual Credit program, students must meet both the state of Texas TSI requirement and the college-level placement requirements. COMPASS, ASSET, or THEA scores are accepted. Exemptions are granted based on ACT, SAT or TAKS scores. Students must also maintain a grade of "C" or better to remain in the program.

Qualified students must complete an admission application available from your high school counselor and attend a dual credit student orientation. For more information about the Dual Credit program contact your high school counselor or contact Claudette Rodriguez, dual credit coordinator at LSC-Kingwood, at 281-312-1509 or claudet.rodriguez@lonestar.edu.

Early College is another program offered through a partnership between LSC-Kingwood and Humble ISD where high school students can earn college credits and complete their first two years of college while still in high school. Courses in this program may be offered at the high school campus while others will be offered only on the LSC-Kingwood campus.

Students who will be juniors and seniors in the fall can get an application for Early College from the counselor's office at their school. Applicants must be assessed for college readiness using test scores from SAT, ACT, THEA or assessment through LSC-Kingwood (ASSET or COMPASS test).  Early College students and their parents are also required to attend an orientation session before the start of the fall semester.

Some of the key benefits to participating in Early College are:

  • Complete the core curriculum and apply to a four-year college as a transfer student;
  • Save thousands of dollars in tuition costs
  • Experience college before leaving high school
  • Take courses from outstanding faculty in a smaller class environment
  • Earn college credit
  • Apply for transfer scholarship opportunities

A minimum of 12 semester credit hours is considered a full load for full-time college students. Early College students typically take between three and nine hours per semester. Your high school counselor and LSC-Kingwood academic advisors can help determine an appropriate course load.

For information about the Early College Program contact one of the LSC-Kingwood academic advisors at 281-312-1604. Information can be obtained through the guidance and counseling offices at your local high school.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.