Dual Enrollment Government 2305 study during a non-class day at VMT. From left, Marissa Guerrero, Eduardo Arredondo, Louis Zavala. (The Magnet Tribune: Esmeralda Martinez)
Dual Enrollment Government 2305 study during a non-class day at VMT. From left, Marissa Guerrero, Eduardo Arredondo, Louis Zavala.

The Magnet Tribune: Esmeralda Martinez

Dual Enrollment students get ahead in college

Expectations for college classes are much different from high school

October 14, 2014

The teacher supervising senior Dual Enrollment Government 2305 students likes the fact that they’re self-motivated.

“Most are self-motivated, and they get the work done on time,” Social Studies teacher and Dual Enrollment facilitator Sylvia A. Velasco-Flores said.

She said a facilitator observes students and guides them to be successful in their college courses.

During class she listens to the lectures with her 22 students. Everyone works when they go to college.

“The professor lectures, students listen and take notes. Students have weekly online quizzes and an occasional test,” Velasco-Flores said.

Quizzes and tests are different from what students take in high school.

“Everything is online. They’re self-guided,” Velasco-Flores said.

Most are self-motivated, and they get the work done on time.”

— Social Studies teacher and Dual Enrollment facilitator Sylvia A. Velasco-Flores

Early in the semester the students were doing quite well.

“They have adapted very well. It’s really just getting the hang of the professor and his methods,” Velasco-Flores said.

They always have something to do on days they don’t go to college.

“They can take the quiz for the week, read the chapter, work on another class’s assignments or practice with their fine arts,” she said.

She said she is able to help students with their work.

“Being a previous U.S. Government teacher I can tutor them and give them different examples,” Velasco-Flores said.

Students say the high school government class is different from a college government class.

“Taking a high school Government class is mostly teacher oriented; however, college Government is mostly independent learning,” Senior Eduardo Arredondo said.

He said some of the students struggle and some don’t.

“As of right now, I’m struggling slightly but it’s something one can overcome,” Arredondo said.

Students can find out if they’re doing well in class or not.

“In government class I’m doing fine. I can see my grades on a database (Canvas, a class website) and monitor them carefully,” Senior Amanda Castañeda said.

Both students have good views towards taking a college Government class.

“It is an advantage because one is saving money for the future,” Arredondo said.

On the other hand, it’s also one less class.

“I like the fact that I have will have to take one less class when I go to college,” Castañeda said.

He said a Dual Enrollment class will help with college.

“Taking Dual Enrollment should be taken into consideration for it will assist you once you start college,” Arredondo added.

Heads up though, students must do their work.

“Basically, if you’re going to take a college class you must do the work. You can’t get by on excuses. They don’t accept that,” Castañeda added.

Juniors are taking college English

Dual Enrollment college English students work on essays at VMT. From left, Laura Coleman, Ayesha McCaulley, and Peter Contreras.

The Magnet Tribune: Esmeralda Martinez

Dual Enrollment college English students work on essays at VMT. From left, Laura Coleman, Ayesha McCaulley, and Peter Contreras.

Juniors that are new to Dual Enrollment will find it challenging, said Gerardo Flores, AP English III teacher and supervisor for the students in Dual Enrollment.

Taking an English college course is not for slackers. You have to be on the ball.”

— Peter Contreras

According to Flores, the students taking college English 1301 seem to be doing well so far. As of early October, they only have a few grades due to the fact that college barely started. Students have been working on different types of essays.

Students are taken to Laredo Community College at 3:15 p.m. and they’re brought back at 5:00 p.m.

“It’s a rough schedule for the kids because they get back from Dual late and it often interferes with extracurricular activities, but it’s worth the opportunity to earn college credit for free,” Flores said.

When students are not taken to LCC, they stay in class with their supervisor, Flores.

“Some students use the time to work on their fine art because they only take one hour of fine art during the day due to Dual, and they also use the time to read and write their essays,” Flores said.

“Taking an English college course is not for slackers. You have to be on the ball,” said Pedro Contreras, a Dual Enrollment student.

“They (professors) expect more things from you,” said Rene Garza, another Dual Enrollment student. “For example, you are expected to know the due dates, and there’s a lot more work.”

Both students said they were proud and honored to be taking an English college class while still in high school.

Psychology is for seniors

Aribeth Baiza and Eduardo Compean study during a non-class day for their Psychology class.

The Magnet Tribune: Esmeralda Martinez

Aribeth Baiza and Eduardo Compean study during a non-class day for their Psychology class.

Some students in dual enrollment are taking Psychology 2301, which is the study of how the mind works.

“Students study different ways on how the mind works,” David Blumberg, CTE instructor and supervisor of the Psychology dual enrollment class, said.

He said he makes sure that the students are paying attention to the professor during class time, and to help with assignments on days there is no class.

Students board the bus at VMT and get taken to Laredo Community College, where their class is located.

It is a great opportunity to experience a college class.”

— Eliza Elizondo

One of the requirements for this class is to be a senior, he said.

“Students should study psychology to help themselves and others on how their mind works,” Blumberg said.

Blumberg said all of the students had passed their first quiz in late September.

Senior William Rodriguez said that he enjoys learning Psychology.

“It is very interesting, and I get a lot from it,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that he had gone through various types of psychology early in the semester, such as memory, how the brain is able to process information, and life span, on how people change over the years.

“The class itself is not hard, but we do have to turn in our assignments online. We have to just make sure we stick to the deadlines, and that we do our work on time or else it won’t get graded and our professor won’t see it,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that the college teacher differs from the high school teacher because the college professor, Dr. Laura Cruz Garza, lectures better and that he and his classmates interact more with (the professor) than they would do with a high school teacher.

Rodriguez recommends the class to anyone that is in dual enrollment due to the fact that it is a fun and interesting class.

Senior Eliza Elizondo also goes to the same class as Rodriguez. Elizondo says she enjoys the class.

“It is a great opportunity to experience a college class,” Elizondo said.

Elizondo said that the class will help her with college experience, for her to get ahead in college.

Elizondo had said that the only difference between dual enrollment and regular classes is that students have to read more, and the majority of their grade comes from tests.

“Professors in college expect you to be more responsible. They don’t push you around to do an assignment. It’s your choice if you want to do it or not,” Elizondo said.

Elizondo is happy to be in dual enrollment.

“It makes me feel more free and (I go) more at my own pace, and I look forward to that later on,” Elizondo said.

(Staff writer Esmeralda Martinez contributed to this story.)

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