ASCENSION - RPCC PARTNERSHIP
ASCENSION PARISH - Ascension Parish is partnering with River Parish Community College to create a dual enrollment program to help save students time and money in preparation for college.
Bella Jung has a dream of going to an Ivy League college, and she's getting a head start with a new program. She walks down the hall with her backpack as she begins her senior year but, this high schooler has never stepped foot in a high school class.
“I wanted that extra push in my school work and to be able to have something to challenge me,” said Jung.
Bella got the challenge she wanted when she enrolled into Ascension Parish’s dual enrollment program. The program takes in students from Ascension’s four high schools, Donaldsonville, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St Amant. The principal of the program, Julian Surla, explains it as an excellent way for students to get their foot in the door before college.
“It's an opportunity for high school students in Ascension Parish who are enrolled in one of our four public schools to have the ability to earn not only a high school diploma from that home high school but an associates degree in Humanities from River Parishes Community College,” said Surla
It's a program that started two years ago with only a classroom of students, and it has swelled to almost 400 scholars, each beginning their day at River Parishes Community College. Though they go to classes at the community college, they are still enrolled in their high schools.
“They are a St. Amant High School student, they're enrolled, and all of their scores and grades go there so they can participate in extracurricular activities, prom, get a ring do all those things. They just don't take their classes there. All of their high school and college classes are on this campus,” said Surla”
The way the program is set up it the first two years are dedicated to the high school curriculum, the second two are solely college courses.
“It's a lot of independence which I feel is good because it prepares you for when you go off to college, later on, cause I know a lot of at times it can be a challenge, but you have that experience to learn from,” said Bella.
She has a lot to be happy about, in just a year Bella will be transferring to a university to complete her degree in engineering.
Ascension parishes dual enrollment program is entirely free and services up to 400 students between its four high schools.