Are Dual Credit Courses Too Difficult for the Average Student?


Koby Turner, Editor

Bourbon County High School provides many dual credit classes for their students. Whether it be from Maysville Community College or through our very own teachers, college classes are not difficult to come by. By completing these classes, credit hours for college are achieved. This way, high school students are able to graduate earlier from college than they were previously. However, receiving  these credits is the hard part. Because these classes are college level, they are usually pretty difficult. The content is extremely different and more challenging than the normal English class content. So do the mandatory English classes provide the necessary skills to pass a dual credit course?

The high school does offer many higher level classes leading up to college level. For instance, in the English department, there are many alternatives to prepare students for these more challenging courses.  Bourbon County High School offers a variety of Pre-AP English courses for lower grade levels and AP Language and Composition classes for the upperclassmen. These classes truly challenge and prepare students for the highest level of achievement, college. In contrast, the school also provides many basic/mandatory classes for the average student. Sticking with English, there are the basic English 1, 2, 3, and 4 classes. If a student only takes these mandatory classes, will they succeed in the most difficult course, English 101 and 102? I say not. These students have to have the training from harder classes in order to write a cohesive and well-written essay, which they do not get from a lower level course. To suddenly be thrown into a class that has higher expectations and only a few papers that are worth 80% of your grade is too sudden of a change and will not set the student up for success.  They are not prepared enough to meet these expectations and to be an experienced and great writer.

Ashlyn Sievers is an English 101 student that has only had the basic English classes. She states “Our first major paper was harder for me because I was not used to the faster paced style of writing.” The student was quite unprepared when it came to writing the first paper. She had to completely restart her paper to get a good idea of what we were supposed to be doing in class. When asked about the most difficult things about the class, she responded “The faster-paced style and higher expectations from the teacher”, which is certainly true. For these college classes, the bar is set high. For a paper in class, if we didn’t have the exact formatting, the teacher wouldn’t even grade it and would give you a zero. I believe that these high expectations and the rush of writing is too much for the average student, as evidenced by Ashlyn’s struggles. The student also gave some good suggestions for how the school can provide help to students adjusting to the more rigorous demands. She reported “I think the school should provide some form of tutoring and a meeting of some sort to prepare you for dual credit. Like going over the expectations and things like that before the class starts. This way the students have a better understanding of what they’re getting into.” I totally agree, and I also think there should be harsher restrictions for the ACT in order to get into the class.  They should raise the minimum ACT score to at least a 23 or higher in the Reading and English sections.

On the other hand, to enroll in College Algebra students must meet the college benchmark on the ACT (22) rather than the state benchmark of 19.  Even though the college may require a lower English score, students would benefit from the requirement of the college benchmark since colleges set the standards for success in the English 101/102 classroom.


With these new rules, I think that kids would have no problem adjusting to dual credit classes.