MHS students earn college credits, and a pizza party

Students enrolled in the Dual Credit program at Merrill High School won a pizza party for their creativity during a social media campaign.
Merrill High School has a Dual Credit arrangement through Northcentral Technical College. Dual Credit focuses on providing opportunities for high school students to take college level course work while in high school in order to get a head start on earning college credits while continuing to fulfill high school graduation requirements.
“Technical college courses are taught in the high school by college-certified high school instructors at no cost to the student, the high school or the taxpayers,” said NTC career coach Karen Akey.
For Dual Credit Day on April 30, Dual Credit students from across NTC’s service area were asked to submit photos to social media promoting the program. Merrill students came up with some unique ideas and were selected as “Most Creative School,” winning themselves a pizza party during the Thursday lunch shifts.
Currently, Merrill High School is teaching 13 dual credit classes; these classes have the opportunity to transfer to technical colleges and the UW system. Approximately 250 MHS students are enrolled in Dual Credit classes this year.
Some students will have taken three of four dual credit classes by the time they graduate, leaving high school with 10-12 college credits.
“I like to see the confidence it gives students when they pass a college level class,” said MHS career services director Jessica Westphal.
Senior Ben Sosnovske is headed for UW River Falls in the fall to study Agriculture Engineering and Technology. He took advantage of the Dual Credit program, taking Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) 2, pre-calculus and dairy science for college credits.
Senior Jacob Jensen, who plans to start his college education at NTC toward a Mechanical Engineering degree, took CAD 2, CAD 3 and pre-calculus for dual credit.
“Those will roll right into the credits I need,” Jensen said. “The helpful part is, by taking those classes, I’ll already be a little bit ahead.”
Senior Christa Schleif plans to study dentistry at UW Stout. She took Anatomy & Physiology for Dual Credit.
“It helps me out and the credits will transfer,” she said. Having the Dual Credit program available at MHS is definitely a perk, she added, and an incentive to do well.
Akey credits the success of the program to the dedication of the students and the many Merrill High School teachers who have gotten certified to teach the dual credit classes.
“It’s a lot of extra work for the high school teachers,” Akey said.

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