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Alabama Community College System expands STEM Dual enrollment scholarships to high school students

The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) announced that it has expanded dual enrollment scholarships to high school students who are interested in taking college-level STEM courses through their local community college. The announcement comes in response to the Alabama Legislature’s recent expansion of opportunities that encourage a stronger employment focus for math and science teachers, along with other STEM-related fields in the state.

ACCS Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker praised the legislature for paving the way for the scholarship expansion.

“Dual enrollment courses are a tremendous benefit to students as they not only provide a means to college credit but also allow high schoolers the opportunity to take in the college experience,” said Baker. “Dual enrollment classes at community colleges are particularly beneficial as they’re offered with the same one-on-one attention and smaller class sizes that students can expect at our colleges across the state. We are grateful to the Alabama Legislature for increasing this funding to allow even more Alabama students to participate in this valuable learning opportunity.”

Dual enrollment provides Alabama’s high school students the opportunity to earn credits that apply to both high school and college at the same time while taking college-level classes. Unlike AP honors classes in high school, a student’s grades for dual enrollment classwork are the only factor in determining whether the student receives full college credit for the class.

Students may attend dual enrollment classes online, in-person at their local community college, or with a college instructor at their local high school or career center. The scholarships, which will be awarded as early as the fall 2021 semester, cover several classes in science, technology, engineering and math that can transfer to a four-year university and be used to complete a two-year associate degree by the time a student graduates high school.

The following are college-level classes for which students may receive scholarships:

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Engineering (EGR)
  • Geology
  • Math
  • Physical science
  • Physics

The ACCS says the scholarships are in addition to both local scholarships and career technical education funds that are already used to provide more opportunities to Alabama high school students to attend dual enrollment classes.

Students must have a 2.5 GPA in STEM-related academic work to qualify for the scholarship. More information is available at students’ local community college.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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