Dual Enrollment and Early College Opportunities at HHS


Alina Fairlie, Digital Editor

Early College and Dual Enrollment opportunities at Holyoke High provide students with a head start to prepare for their futures. These programs are offered to students in grades 10-12 and ultimately aid in gaining college credit. Sophomores are limited to the Early College program, and have the option to transfer to Dual Enrollment and take classes in-person at Holyoke Community College in future years. 

The program reduces the cost of earning college credit and increases the likelihood of earning a degree.Course and book costs, transportation, and all other fees are provided to students in the program. 

Sophomores enrolled in Early College will take a half-year course in the Fall semester that will prepare them to take a college course in the Spring semester at Holyoke High School. The course that they take aligns with their academy and all credits earned are transferable to most Massachusetts public colleges. 

As Juniors, students are given the option to take asynchronous classes on their own time, or go to the college during free blocks. Most Seniors are required to take class on campus. 

Dual enrollment students are able to take classes that align with their interests. HHS partners with HCC, STCC, UMASS, and Westfield State. 

Junior Bradley Provost enrolled in Intro to Video Production and traveled to HCC every Tuesday and Thursday after school hours. He notes that a positive of this program was “meeting new people and being able to interact and work with people who have the same interests. The variety of ages helped me learn from people who already had experience in shooting video.” Provost enjoyed the college campus exposure and getting a feel for college standards.

Junior Kelsy Brainard, also a Dual Enrollment student, enrolled in an asynchronous Intro to Psychology class, completing the course on her own time. She enjoyed the freedom she was given while still being offered support through college counselors located at the high school. These include Marielys Baretto, Anna Rigali, and Jiles Gillis. 

Brainard said that the class “gave me real college work experience with the helpful support from my teachers to learn strategies on handling the workload. Counselors are always readily available to help you set up your class, order textbooks, and navigate through your course.” 

Overall, involving yourself in college opportunities and beginning to adapt to higher level classwork is extremely beneficial if you are planning on going to college. It also gives students a head start in earning college credits that may help with scheduling and graduating early. Finally, the Early College and Dual Enrollment programs ease the transition from high school to college.