Getting a head start with a prospective college career and getting to leave school early are only some of the benefits that the early placement program at Montgomery College (MC) offers high school seniors. Seniors are given the option to cut down their schedule to four or five classes in order to commute to the MC campus to take a college course.
Senior Sara Jaller took an economics course during her first semester.
Jaller said, “Knowing that I wanted to become a business major, I took it so I would have the same competitiveness as the rest of the students going into college who took the course equivalency at their high school.”
Some courses that are offered at MC are not offered at RHS, providing an opportunity for seniors to learn the material before heading off to college.
MC classes are also a way for seniors to experience what a college course is like. Jaller said, “The tests, exams, homework and class work are all in style of those at most other colleges.” This preparation is advantageous for seniors who plan to attend a college or university in the fall.
Anatomy teacher Gregg Gochnour agreed that MC can give seniors an advantage. However, Gochnour said, “The pros to staying here: you stay involved and learn leadership. Part of being a senior is having fun, so you don’t want to overwork yourself.”
While many seniors are balancing the work of AP and IB courses and the stress of college applications, an MC class will add more homework to their workload.
Yet having an abbreviated schedule will allot more time that students can dedicate to studying for both their high school and college courses. Senior Nick Martino said, “It gives me more time to do my homework. If I had a full day schedule then they would all be pointless electives.”
Money is also a factor in taking a college course. For example, MC’s Nutrition 101 class adds up to $336 in fees and materials. However, compared to the prices at a four-year university or college, this price is quite low. When choosing a class it is important to ensure that the course will be beneficial in the long run.
Janet Harris is the coordinator for students who wish to apply for the early placement program. While Harris agrees with the benefits of taking college courses, she stresses the importance of choosing a class that will fulfill college requirements. “
If you’re taking the class just to take it, then it doesn’t look good to some colleges” Harris said.
A student planning to take an MC class should check if the college they plan to attend will accept the credit and have it transfer over.
Students interested in the program should contact Harris in the College/Career Center at RHS.