Duel Enrollment a Game Changer for Local Students

Local high school students are going to be able to get a leg up in their future careers thanks to a grant proposal by the Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) and funding from Chevron.

It was announced in October that Chevron was going to donate $51,000 to help fund a new satellite program initiative that will be available to all public school students in Terrebonne Parish beginning 2020.

The program will allow local students to take one Fletcher course and one Nicholls course — earning collegiate credit without having to leave their high school campuses. The credit will be able to be earned 100 percent free of charge.

Local students have been offered the opportunity to earn credit for years, but never have they been able to do so from their high school campuses.

“I can’t say enough about Chevron’s investment in our local education, particularly in STEM programs and courses,” said Katie Portier, the Executive Director of TFAE. “I believe this program will allow more students the opportunity to explore college courses and reap the benefits of hard work through dual enrollment. We are incredibly thankful to TPSD, Nicholls and Fletcher for their willingness to partner with us on this and offer an alternative style of learning to students.”

This is a pretty cool thing for local high school students.

Chevron’s donation will fund the technology needed for the program, which is going to be state-of-the-art.

All four public high schools in Terrebonne Parish will receive a large TV to be used as screen projectors. Laptops will also be provided for teacher/instructors at the high schools to project the course. Also, 30 Chromebooks will be purchased for students participating to utilize.

Portier said having the students be able to study while on their high school campuses will be huge, adding that some students were not able to find the time or transportation to commute to college campuses.

She said that in addition to collegiate credit, locals may also be able to earn high school credit through the program by taking electives that maybe aren’t offered at one particular school (because of interest), but can maybe be offered by combining students at all the local schools.

“We felt students without reliable transportation or gas money, as well as students who are very involved with school curricular activities like band, sports or clubs may not be able to participate (in commuting to Nicholls or Fletcher),” Portier said. “With the satellite component, those students could remain on their own high school campus and still attend the college course remotely and earn the credit…This will open up so many options for our students.”

The curriculum that will be offered in the satellite program was developed after students were surveyed.

Plans are still being made to work on the logistics of how the program might work. But in the future, more is expected to be added to the curriculum list.

“Our first courses will be STEM related,” Portier said. “We hope to continue to build on this each semester and also include TPSD utilizing the technology to offer satellite high school level courses as well. This will come in handy for electives or courses that may not have enough students at one high school to require its own teacher, but instead can pull together students from all schools to make up this class. It’s our hope that TPSD will offer Physics through this program in the Fall of 2020.”

Both Nicholls and Fletcher are on board 100 percent and think the idea will be great for our community.

Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune said he thinks the program will help local students thrive and get ahead.

“We thank Chevron,” Dr. Clune said. “This is going to be great for our university and for you, the students.”

Fletcher Chancellor Dr. Kristine Strickland agreed and said the opportunity to partner with Nicholls and local public schools is an opportunity worth seeking.

“This is a great thing for all of us,” she said. “It’s a major win for our area.”