SLHS Dual Enrollment Options Available for 2021-22


Kishore Annambhotla

Seton Hall University and the University of Pittsburgh have signed Southern Lehigh to a dual enrollment program.

For students looking to broaden their horizons after high school, Southern Lehigh High School will offer more dual enrollment opportunities starting next year. With the school board’s approval in early fall of 2020, Southern Lehigh’s existing dual enrollment program will expand to include high school courses that offer college credit through Seton Hall University and the University of Pittsburgh. 

A dual enrollment program allows students to enroll simultaneously at two academic institutions to earn credit for the same course. For example, students who take public speaking at Southern Lehigh can earn college credit at the same time. Students have also had the opportunity to take additional classes from several local colleges, including Moravian College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, DeSales University, Lehigh University and Penn State Lehigh Valley, while completing their high school education. 

Under the current program, about 80 Southern Lehigh students are dual-enrolled each year. However, thanks to greater viability of the program in virtual school, that number has increased to about 95 in the 2020-2021 school year. The expanded dual enrollment program will allow students more opportunity to take classes at Southern Lehigh High School that will allow them to earn credit toward graduation while they simultaneously earn college credit through participating universities. 

“We have applied to both the University of Pittsburgh and Seton Hall, and both of those universities have programs where schools can apply for dual enrollment,” principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello said. “I met with the directors, gave a presentation to the school board, and once the approvals came through, we got together the teachers and secretaries to help the applications go through.”

Five courses in the fields of math, computer science, and family and consumer science will be offered for dual enrollment credit with Seton Hall, while the University of Pittsburgh will offer credit through twenty-eight courses across english, math, science, social studies, world language, computer science, and family and consumer sciences, said assistant principal Ms. Jennifer Brinson.

“Having the experience of teaching, I can speak to many teachers about how the process works,” said Ms. Brinson, who formerly taught Seton Hall dual enrollment courses at Salisbury High School. “You just teach the class and speak to the college about what the grades are like and everything else.”

The attraction of dual enrollment is mainly due in part to its educational and economic soundness. Dual enrolled students receive high school and college credits, which are valuable for applying to any post-secondary institution. In addition, taking college courses through dual enrollment is much cheaper. For example, a typical 3-credit class at Seton Hall University costs around $4,000, while taking the same class through dual enrollment would only cost around $300.

“Because we are opening it up, we have all the core [classes] applying for some level of dual enrollment,” said Mrs. Guarriello. “Several sciences, several maths, several social studies, and many teachers are applying as far as related arts. We have representatives applying from every subject area, which is great.”

Pitt and Seton Hall had the best programs to meet Southern Lehigh’s goals for dual enrollment. Secretaries Mrs. Paula Barron and Mrs. Suzanne Lang have been working to facilitate dual enrollment applications including acquiring transcripts, uploading letters of recommendation, and any other documentation necessary to support the application.

“We are excited to see our kids build their experience with some college credits,” said Ms. Brinson.

Few outside of the faculty and staff have heard about the new dual enrollment plan thus far; however, students like junior Marley McGehee are interested in the opportunities provided by the program:

“Being able to get college credit for classes in high school makes the college class load and work load seem much less daunting.”