May 4, 2021 Academics

Number of high school students earning community college credit hits record high

Students look at a computer during health science class in the SCCSD board room.
Students look at a computer during health science class in the SCCSD board room.

Local high school students are preparing for the future through joint enrollment in college courses at a record rate.

The Sioux City Community School District reported a 9% increase in the enrollment numbers, which surpasses the Iowa state average of 2.4% between 2018-19 to 2020.

“I think that lots of credit is due to the school counselors in our district who really encourage students to test out these pathways while they’re here and explore. It’s just as much about finding out what you don’t want to do as it is what you want to do,” said Katie Towler, Sioux City Career Academy Principal.

The increase also shows that Siouxland students recognize the importance of dual enrollment and continue to seize the opportunity to get a head start in their careers.

“Well, it’s saved me money. I wouldn’t have to take these classes in college and then being able to be here and then getting like hands-on experience. It’s like when I got into the field, it was just so much easier for me to go in and know my stuff because they taught me so well here,” said Daniella Campos, a student.

Students will get the opportunity to have a head start in their careers and set the foundation for the rest of their lives.

“Well, I think it really helps for families that are low-income because it’s fewer credits you have to take in college, so it automatically saves you money. I have a single mother, so it’s kind of hard to pay for college by yourself. It’s really nice that I got a year off of college now,” said Abigail Nelson, another student.

Currently, there are 1,525 students in the school district’s had dual enrollment at Western Iowa Tech Community College in 2020.

“Exposure to the courses they might need to take or even if it’s just taking care of some general education requirements before they move on to their major at an institution. All of that brings value for a student and helps prepare them for life after high school,” said Darin Moeller, Executive Dean of Instruction.

That’s also up from the 1,399 students who took advantage of the free college credits in the 2018-19 academic year.

View the full coverage by Jason Takhtadjian on KCAU.