The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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My AU dual enrollment experience

Luther Hoy
ACADEMIC WEAPON WES – Wesley Hoy flaunts his AU sweatshirt in front of the College of History. He rates his AU class, Statistical Programming in R, a 4/10.

Last year, senior friends raved about their amazing dual enrollment experiences. After completing the Computer Science Academy pathway at Jackson-Reed, taking a class at one of the schools offered in the DCPS dual enrollment program was the next logical step. 

Unlike other schools, American University severely limits the courses available to dual enrollment students, only offering a data science program or an education program, each with two available courses. This differs from schools like Georgetown or George Washington, which both offer mostly any college freshman or sophomore course to DCPS students (as long as there are slots available). 

I was a bit nervous about the program, especially when looking at the prerequisites in AU’s course catalog, where I became worried that the allowed courses would be too difficult. One course that was available to me, “Statistical Programming in R,” said that completion of a statistics course was required for the class, and since I had never taken one, I talked to the admissions counselor about these concerns. However, I was met with vague responses that didn’t convince me that I could succeed in the class. 

The only class that fit into my schedule was every Tuesday and Friday from 11:20 to 12:35. Additionally, my class was at a building far from AU’s main campus, and with no consistent shuttle bus, I had to walk 30 minutes to and from class each week, so I had to take both second and third period off each day so I would have enough time to make it to class. I ended up taking Statistical Programming in R, where we used a programming language called R to analyze data and create graphs and tables (I know, very nerdy). 

In total, we had about eight homework assignments and four exams throughout the semester. Assignments usually took about 1-3  hours to complete and surprisingly, our teacher allowed us to use ChatGPT on our homework, notes, and exams, making the class very easy. Although we still had to use our brains (horrible, I know) to solve a lot of the homework problems, ChatGPT sped things up! Additionally, the course content was understandable and little studying was required since all of the exams were also open notes!

The classroom atmosphere is also not as studious as one might expect from a college environment. Only around ¼ of students attended class by the end of the semester, and everyone else only appeared on the day of exams. The best part about the class was the projects at the end of the semester. I worked with a small group of students to create a 10-page statistical analysis paper on the connections between hate crimes in a state and political leaning. We found indications that conservative states have higher hate crime rates than liberal-leaning states. It was gratifying to be able to use the skills we learned in the class to create definitive conclusions from the hate crime data.

Even though this paper was one of the highlights of the course, I would give my class a 4/10. It was fairly boring and the classroom atmosphere was not very engaging, but I did learn some pretty beneficial skills that will be helpful in my future career.

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About the Contributors
Wesley Hoy
Wesley Hoy, Web Technical Editor
  • 2023-24: Web Technical Editor
Wesley does the web design and development for the website. If you think that the website looks bad, he thinks it's important for you to keep that opinion to yourself.  Wesley is the president of the computer science academy, even though he doesn't have any clue how to write good HTML and CSS. Wesley would like to use the rest of his staff bio to acknowledge his twin brother, Luther Hoy, who he loves very much.
Luther Hoy
Luther Hoy, Junior Editor
I will save the beacon
  • 2023-24: Junior Editor
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