students get a head start on college with Dual Credit
By Derek Hurley -
Lincoln Daily News
During 'Coffee with the
Superintendent' this past December, LCHS Superintendent
Robert Bagby and School Board President James Mammen (left
and right at the far end of the table) discussed both the
Alternative Education programs and the Dual College Credit
opportunities that give students a head start into whatever
direction they are going after high school.
Send a link to a friend
[March 11, 2016]
addition to the three alternative education programs offered at
Lincoln Community High School, the school also offers another way
for students to earn credit outside of normal means.
Currently, the school is in their fifth year of offering
dual-credit courses to students. These courses can be used to earn
college credit at either Lincoln College or with Heartland Community
Chris Hammer, a mathematics teacher at LCHS, teaches college-level
courses as part of the dual-credit program. Currently, math students
can earn college credit in Statistics with Heartland, or Calculus I
and II with Lincoln College. “We have offered College Algebra in the
past, and we offered Statistics with Lincoln College at one time,”
Hammer said that while College Algebra has been a little difficult
at times due to differing requirements, Lincoln College and
Heartland have done a good job at offering the same material for
students enrolled in the dual credit classes. “We may try to offer
College Algebra again in the future,” said Hammer.
Other courses are offered in multiple subject areas aside from math.
Working with Heartland Community College, students can enroll in
English 101 or 102 courses that are taught by Michelle Ryan.
Students can also enroll in a section of Biology or Geology with
Lincoln College taught by Sally Aukamp. Lincoln College also
provides an instructor for a Speech class, as LCHS does not have
access to a staff member qualified to teach that level of speech.
Hammer said the courses are departmentalized much like any college
All of these courses are taught on the LCHS campus, and function as
general education credits for the purposes of college transcripts.
In addition to these courses, Superintendent Robert Bagby said the
school would like to look into offering vocational courses for
credit in the future.
“Students have come back and told us it made things a lot easier,”
said Hammer. “They can’t believe how much it helps. These kids get
to start a semester ahead.”
Hammer said that classes offering dual credit are almost always
completely filled. Students in these courses are encouraged to
participate more in class, as the structure of the courses are more
like college courses than typical high school classes.
“Pace can be the biggest challenge,” said Hammer. Hammer added that
these courses help students to get used to the rigor and speed of a
[to top of second column]
Students are also introduced to the different type of grading that
comes with college courses. In the typical high school setting, a
final grade is based off of a full year of coursework. This year is
often filled with assignments of varying importance and difficulty.
However, at a college level, a class is only one semester, and a
grade may be dependent on a handful of assignments. For example, a
college math class may only be based off of a handful of exams and
the final, as opposed to the high school math class which still has
Hammer said that all of the dual-credit classes are free for
students to enroll in. Furthermore, if a student earns an A or B
grade in a class, they receive a $150 reimbursement.
Any student can sign up for the courses, provided they score well
enough on a Compass placement test. Prior to the test, the school
provides a series of study guides to prepare them for the exams.
“Any student can sign up for these to get a feel for college
classes,” said Hammer. “And this is an opportunity for free credit
hours, which is great.”
So far, Hammer said the program has been very successful, and LCHS
will continue to offer these courses as time moves on.