A step ahead

How FHS students are using online college courses to jump start their futures

Bethany Bergschneider, Editor

Nationwide, around a third of high school students take courses in high school that offer college credit (Dual Enrollment). However, Franklin students are unique in that their college courses are taken online, rather than through dual credit programs at their own high school. This setup can present some unique opportunities for Franklin students to get a head start on their futures. 

Luke Bergschneider, a former Franklin student, is currently attending college at Western Illinois University. The credit he earned through online LLCC classes during high school allowed him to skip a year of undergrad, meaning that he will graduate in the spring of 2022.

Bergschneider also says that college classes he took in high school have helped him handle life at a four-year university. “I would say that it helped me understand some of the workload that comes with college classes. It ensures that you’re motivated because it’s not like high school where teachers are around all the time. You have to get your own stuff done.”

Senior Mollie Allen agrees. “They (LLCC classes) have definitely prepared me for a college class outlook and made my life easier.” Allen began taking college classes her sophomore year. She will have completed eight in total by the end of the semester. By her estimate, she’s saved around $2,000 through earning credits at Lincoln Land rather than later down the road. “There’s no sense in paying a university for a class you don’t like, so you may as well do it here.”

Brayden Colwell has made the online class program work in a way unique to him and his career plans. “I want to go into ministry, and when I was looking through LLCC classes, I didn’t find anything that I really wanted to learn. I knew Lincoln Christian University had an early course option called the LEAP program and it was a lot cheaper. I was actually interested in taking some of their classes, so I figured it would be worth my time to do a class that I wanted to do.”

Colwell and his parents worked with Mr. Waggener and Mrs. Black to get this setup approved. The class he chose is Intro to Worldviews, which began this week. That course will also work as a credit when he begins college. 

As upperclassmen, Allen and Colwell both had advice to give for students in their first college class. Allen recommended staying organized.“Make to-do lists. I’ve probably had about a bazillion sticky notes just for my college classes.”

Colwell advised younger students to stay on top of their registration and coursework. “Get everything done early, because it stinks doing it last minute. Make sure you know what is due and when it’s due, and have personal deadlines of what you need to get done each day.”

Works Cited

Dual Enrollment: Participation and Characteristics. U.S. Department of Education, February 2019. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019176.pdf