Dual credit with UC available

Ian Howard | Staff Writer

The students taking Honors Anatomy and Physiology or Calculus this year are among the first Mason students to be eligible for six and five credit hours respectively through a dual credit program at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College.

The credits will be accepted as calculus or anatomy classes in all Ohio public colleges, according to UC Clermont Academic Director Kathleen Thornton.

“The purpose of the dual credit program is to give students an opportunity to earn college credit for courses they are taking in high school that are equivalent to college courses,” Thornton said. “They can gain college credit in addition to high school credit for the same course.”

The credits earned in the program are less expensive than credits earned at a university, according to senior Megan Wagner, a Calculus dual credit enrollee.

“It’s like $136 per credit hour at UC and here it’s only $75 [per credit hour],” Wagner said.

With these advantages, enrollment in the dual credit program has soared to around 130 students so far, according to Honors Anatomy and Physiology teacher Maggie Long.

“Most of those who are enrolled are going into physical therapy [or] nursing,” Long said. “We compared the honors [anatomy] course here at Mason [to] an intro nursing class at UC Clermont.”

Calculus teacher Nicole Harting said that her students are more hesitant about participating in the program than Honors Anatomy and Physiology students.

“There are some concerns about the transcript,” Harting said. “Do [students] want a C on there [from dual credit] or do [they] want [to] earn an A next year re-taking [the course] at the college level?”

Shelton said these opportunities for dual credit may be expanded next year beyond Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), Honors Anatomy and Physiology and Calculus.

“We’re working on [Microsoft Office User Specialist Education] through the [UC] business program,” Shelton said. “We’re also working on Honors Accounting through Cincinnati State.”

Senior Heidi Palmer said that dual credit enrollment was a natural step on her way to college.

“[I enrolled in the program] because I want to do nursing in college [and] I will have to take anatomy classes anyway,” Palmer said.

According to Palmer, her plans to attend UC next year made the decision to participate in the dual credit program easier. However, it is not impossible for a student attending an out-of-state college to earn credit in the program, according to Wagner.

“I plan on going to North Carolina University,” Wagner said. “They said that if [the calculus credit] doesn’t transfer as a core credit then it will transfer as an elective credit.”

Shelton said that the purpose of the dual credit programs is not necessarily to maximize enrollment.

“It’s not about whether ten kids do it or five kids do it,” Shelton said. “It’s an opportunity.”