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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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Dual enrollment: two approaches

Signing up for collegiate schoolwork and courseloads as a high schooler may be considered extreme, but some motivated students have pushed themselves to take on the challenge. 

Dania Abdalla and Anna Khabiyev, juniors at Jackson-Reed, have participated in dual enrollment in person at the Unversity of the District of Columbia, and now are engaging in virtual classes (Abdalla through Virginia State University and Khabiyev through UDC). 

Initially aiming to gain college credits and a GPA boost, simultaneously, Abdalla and Khabiyev have learned about the intense college experience. “I got to see what it was really like to be a college kid, what the classes are like, what the workload is like, and how different it is compared to high school” Abdalla commented. Khabiyev adds that “getting a lot of courses already finished while you’re in high school [is a big benefit]”. 

However, being in a college environment meant that Abdalla and Khabiyev were also the youngest people in the classroom, especially since UDC has a wide age range. “There was even a grandma in my class, she was always talking about her grandkids. I think [the age range] wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable, it was just that I couldn’t relate to anyone,” Abdalla said. 

Khabiyev had a similar interaction with an older student in her class who was “talking about random stuff in his speech and it was really awkward because no one knew what he was talking about.” 

During her first semester last year at the UDC campus, Abdalla took a Psychology class every Monday and Wednesday. Although she faced challenges such as having to write a 3-page paper for the first time which was “really overwhelming,” Abdalla felt lucky as her professors were very supportive. 

Khabiyev agrees that “the courses can be really hard” and to make sure one “has good time management” before committing to a rigorous workload. 

Since attending classes in person from 9:00 in the morning proved to be demanding, this year, Abdalla decided to take virtual classes consisting of hospitality management and biology at VSU. After doing so, she notes that balancing her days is much easier since everything is asynchronous. Even so, Khabiyev notes that virtual classes have their drawbacks: “[In] online [classes], you really don’t know who you’re talking to. When I was in person I made some really good friends.” 

From in-person to virtual, dual enrollment provides a variety of experiences and options to students, and both Abdalla and Khabiyev recommend taking the opportunity to learn in free college classes. “It’s definitely a big workload. But, know that you can reach out to your professor and it’s not that scary,” concludes Abdalla.

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Edith Corrigan Conaty
Edith Corrigan Conaty, Managing Editor
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