Counselor Expo Updating Area High School Counselors on Dual Credit Program

Article by: Mike Bratten

Sylvia Carrillo saw college as a “possibility but not a necessity” as she neared graduation at Moody High School 23 years ago. Ultimately, she decided to pursue a degree, thanks to a college-level English course she took at Moody that was offered through Del Mar College’s then-fledgling Dual Credit Program.

“The class gave me an insight as far as what college work would be like,” said Carrillo, now the City Manager in Aransas Pass. “If I hadn’t taken it, I probably wouldn’t have enrolled and would’ve taken a much different path in life.” 

Carrillo, a graduate of Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, will be the guest speaker Thursday, Aug. 14, at Del Mar’s annual Counselor Expo, an event designed to provide area high school counselors with the latest information on the College’s Dual Credit Program. About 60 counselors are expected to attend.

Dual credit enables high school students to earn college credits while they work toward their high school diploma. Fall registration at Del Mar is open through Aug. 23, and students must consult with their high school counselors to begin the process.

Coastal Bend high school students are increasingly finding that dual credit courses are a smart way to get a head start on a college degree. During the spring 2014 semester, 1,478 students throughout Del Mar College’s service area enrolled in 2,744 dual credit courses offered by the College, accounting for 14.9 percent of total enrollments.

Of those students, 634 attended high schools within the Corpus Christi Independent School District, and 377 were from North Bay high schools, including Gregory-Portland, Ingleside, Odem-Edroy, Port Aransas, Rockport-Fulton, Sinton and Taft.

Dual credit courses make good economic sense for students and their families. This year, the College reduced the cost for a three-hour dual credit course to $99.99, regardless of a student’s in-district or out-of-district status.

“Most dual credit students are pursuing core credit courses like English, history and math,” said Patricia B. Dominguez, Director of Early College Programs at Del Mar College. “These courses are transferrable to most colleges and universities in the State of Texas.”

Through the program, students can earn at least 12 college credit hours by the time they receive their high school diploma. Some graduate high school with 24 to 30 credit hours, the equivalent of some college freshman and sophomores.

Carrillo said the more dual credit courses students take in high school, the sooner they’ll get to the “fun” classes in college. 

“Take as much as you can in high school,” she said. “It leads to greater opportunity for success.” 

Del Mar College’s Counselor Expo will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 14 in the Retama Room (Rm. 239), Harvin Student Center, East Campus, Baldwin and Ayers. Sylvia Carrillo, CPM/CFM, will speak from noon to 1 p.m.

For further details, contact Patricia Benavides-Dominguez, Director of DMC Early College Programs, at 361-698-1634 or pbdominguez@delmar.edu.

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