The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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 Georgetown adventure

On the first day of my dual enrollment class at Georgetown University, I walked in a bit shaky from the nerves of being in a new place surrounded by people older than me. 

As a junior, I applied to participate in the DCPS Private University Dual Enrollment Program which allows students to take classes at a wide breadth of colleges in DC. Before classes began in August, Georgetown invited all Dual Enrollment students to campus for an orientation seminar which covered how to choose classes and navigate the campus. 

Students from across the city were present, representing more than five high schools in DCPS. Although choosing classes was difficult because dual enrolled students can only take intro level courses, the head of the Georgetown Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA) was incredibly responsive and helpful. I decided to take an Intro to Philosophy class between 8:00-9:15 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but this was only one option out of many; other students I knew were taking courses such as Calculus, Digital Media, and Theater. 

Before the first class, I emailed the professor explaining that I was a high schooler, was part of a dual enrollment program, and asked to receive the syllabus. He was responsive and excited about my joining his course. Once I got to the class, not only did the professor welcome me, but all of the other students were very friendly. 

A perk of dual enrollment that is not often mentioned is that college students in your class will not know you are a high school student unless you tell them, meaning no one will make you feel uncomfortable about being younger. 

Eventually, I did tell my peers that I was a senior in high school, but none of the students in my course treated me differently. Additionally, if there was any time I was unsure of a topic, my new friends seated around me helped to clear up any confusion.

Although my peers helped create a positive learning environment for me, I began to become aware of two drawbacks of dual enrollment at Georgetown specifically: there is a lack of racial and ethnic diversity within the University as a whole. 

Seeing crucifixes above the door in each classroom honoring Jesus, and the Jesuit values of Georgetown were somewhat shocking coming from a big public school background, especially while attending a school as diverse as Jackson-Reed. 

However, I enjoyed being a dually enrolled student because it gave me a taste of college with limited stress, while also allowing me to expand my network and friendships with peers older than me. 

One of my main takeaways from dual enrollment was that taking courses with people in a different stage of life enriches one’s knowledge of the world and prepares them for the wide variety of opinions and cultures people will encounter in the world. The dual enrollment experience was one that enhanced my senior year of high school and cultivated my excitement and readiness for higher education.

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Sabrina Bergeron, Junior Editor
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