- Behind The Scenes
Three years ago, high schools, community colleges and universities across the state kicked off an idea to give high school students a chance to get a leg up on college. Called dual enrollment, students take college courses and get credit toward their high school diploma and college.
The program started slowly but is gaining momentum.
When Starkville High School senior Jessi Collier was in the ninth grade, she knew she wanted to do high school and college at the same time.
"I thought this would be a great way because I was wanting to persue so many different career options. I was just like really ambitious," said Jessi Collier, Dual Enrollment Student.
"They will get high school credit as well for it because it's dual credit enrollment that we are doing. And they'll also get credit for their english comp, is what I'm doing. We are also doing college algebra on campus too," said Nikki Buss, Dual Enrollment Coordinator.
"So, the sooner I get this done the sooner I can get to early retirement," said Collier.
The motivated multi-tasker is pursuing degrees in chemistry, Chinese, and finance. That should come in handy when she lands a job with an international pharmaceutical company.
"It allows them to go ahead and get a jump on it so their freshman year they are not taking you know 18, fifteen, eighteen hours. They can take 12 and kind of get acclimated to college," said Buss.
"So I wanted to get out of high school fast as I could with the proper credit so I could blaze through the university," said Collier.
And that's something more and more students are doing.
Starkville alone has seen the number of students in dual enrollment more than double.
Next spring, more than two dozen students will be in both high school and college or community college.
Columbus, Lowndes County and several other districts also promote the program.
"This is what I want to do. I guess maybe I'm a little bit more goal oriented than my peers, but we're no different for the most part," said Collier.
For Collier, August 20th is the first day of class at MSU.