Auburn City Schools is considering partnership with Auburn University to provide online dual enrollment classes for its students. The partnership will allow students to take college-level courses for $550 a course.
Information about the partnership was presented to the Auburn City Schools Board of Education at its Nov. 12 meeting.
The agreement was tabled until its Dec. 10 meeting, allowing the board to examine it and the community to give feedback.
Daniel Chesser, public relations coordinator for Auburn City Schools, said the program, if approved by the Board of Education, would not start until the next academic year with online courses.
“There’s quite a few of our students that graduate and go on to attend Auburn,” Chesser said. “So, it’s helpful to have that partnership moving forward.”
This will not be the first dual enrollment opportunity for students in Auburn City Schools.
The school system has already had dual enrollment agreements with Southern Union State Community College since 2015 and the University of Alabama since 2018.
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Chesser said these dual enrollment programs are not part of the daily curriculum, so students can take dual enrollment courses in addition to the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs offered at Auburn High.
For some students, however, Chesser said it was difficult to balance school, work and other responsibilities. Students now have an hour worked into their school day, called Tiger Time, that allows them to work on their dual enrollment classes, go eat lunch or just relax.
“The driving force behind that was to give our high-performing students an opportunity to pursue things like dual enrollment, as well as things like club activities,” Chesser said.
According to Chesser, one Auburn High student last year, who now attends Yale University, was busy all day at school, work and home, where she was responsible for taking care of her siblings.
“Building that time in the school day has allowed our students to do a lot more,” Chesser said. “On the opposite side of the spectrum, if a student needs to take that hour just to decompress and relax, we offer them that opportunity as well.”
Chesser said the dual enrollment programs with Southern Union and the University of Alabama have been robust.
He said it gives them an opportunity to invest early in their course of study at the next level.
“A lot of kids are graduating as sophomores in college,” Chesser said. “It’s just an opportunity for them to excel.”
He said these programs also help students figure out what they want to do as a career and can help them stay focused.
Auburn High students who participate in this program will take contained, online classes proctored by Auburn faculty.
They will not be taking classes on campus.
Chesser said the current dual enrollment programs attract students who are in the high school’s AP and IB courses, but also those who are not.
“It really appeals to all types of students, depending on what their interests are,” he said.
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