Choosing a college major and school is a daunting task for high school juniors and seniors. Determining how the average family will pay for college is also a complex system, but Bristol High School juniors and seniors have an opportunity that will give them a head start as they begin planning their life after high school. Thanks to grant funding received with Bucks County Community College, Bristol High School is able to continue its dual enrollment program, which allows qualifying juniors and seniors to take two community college course offerings a year. Course enrollment translates two main advantages for these high school students: financial savings and a better awareness of the rigor involved with a college course.
Approximately 20% of BBSD juniors and seniors enroll in dual enrollment, which requires them to arrive at school almost an hour earlier than their peers for three days a week. Students gain entry to the program based on their interest and an initial placement test, given by BCCC, that occurs the preceding spring. The advantages to students are impressive. For example, participating students from the class of 2020 have the potential to graduate from high school with 12 college credits, which equates to almost an entire semester of college credit. Their course performance is recorded not only on their high school transcript, where it receives the weighted credit of an honors course, but also is the beginning of their college transcript. The offered courses vary from year to year with an attempt to target classes that can be easily transferred to meet a variety of introductory college major requirements, such as Public Speaking, Introduction to Communications, and Criminal Justice.