Three Way native and soon to be high school graduate, Abbie Parrish, will finish her academic journey through high school in May 2013 having earned 39 college credit hours through Jackson State Community College’s Dual Enrollment program.
The Dual Enrollment program allows students to earn college credits that count toward both a college degree and their high school diploma.
The home-schooled Parish began Dual Enrollment classes at Jackson State during the fall semester of her junior year in high school.
When reflecting on what made her interested in Dual Enrollment, she responded, “There were several things that I found interesting about being under a Dual Enrollment program. The biggest influence was the advantage of being able to complete high school with a sense of what college work would require. I am definitely the kind of person who likes to know what will be expected of me. I also was interested in the fact I would have the opportunity to get some of my college general education completed before I actually graduated high school. I wanted to become comfortable with the expectations of what college would require with the advantage of not having to carry a full load.”
Parrish commented about the most challenging aspect of participating in the Dual Enrollment program. “I can honestly say that simply getting used to the structure of college classes and workloads has been an important but challenging aspect to handle, especially when I first started taking classes. I was very stressed my first semester as I was not well-prepared for the amount of work and time I would spend studying.”
When commenting on the most rewarding aspect of being involved in the program, Parrish said, “The sheer experience has definitely been the most rewarding part of my Dual Enrollment at JSCC. Becoming familiar with how college professors taught their classes and how they tested has made me a more confident exam taker. Academically, a rewarding aspect has been developing more routine study habits and a better work ethic while benefitting from a smaller course load. I recognized that I wasted tons of time stressing out during my first semester and I told myself I would create better, more focused study habits I have found what works well for me when I study. Although I consider it being in a state of constant refinement, I know I have a solid base for some sturdy study techniques.”
I would tell other high school students, “Do it! Even if it’s only a course or two, it’s worth your time. It’s an awesome feeling when you are working hard and doing well in class. If you aren’t doing as well as you would have liked, it’s a great time to tweak your study habits for more desired results. Get to know your professors and if you have questions, ask them. Professors will appreciate your active engagement; do not be afraid to talk with them.”
When asked if she would recommend other high school students participate in the Dual Enrollment program at Jackson State, she said, “I most definitely would. It is cost effective if you know you want to get some serious hours in before your high school graduation and it is great way to get an idea of what you can expect when you enter college full time.”
When Parrish was asked if she was glad she did it, she said, “YES! I have completed a year of college and have gained confidence in my ability to learn and handle the college workload. Although it was stressful at times and I didn’t always enjoy the actual classwork, it was well worth the time spent in the classroom. I have the experience of sitting in college lectures and taking college level tests. I finished high school with a strong sense of accomplishment and a head start in college.”
“I have enjoyed learning and gaining experience from both an academic and personal stand point. I loved the small class sizes and interactions I had with my classmates and professors,” she explained.
“My favorite class was Lab for Anatomy and Physiology. I loved being able study with the advantage of being able to hold and touch some of the things I learned about in lectures. I thoroughly enjoyed the practical aspect of the course,” said Parrish.
Parrish plans to attend college the fall semester after her high school graduation, but has not decided on an institution of higher learning yet. “I know I want to do something in health science, but am undecided in what specific area.” She is not exactly sure what she wants to do for a career, but her current plan is to either major in nursing or in biology with the hopes of going to graduate school under a Physical Therapy program.
“I didn’t do this on my own. I had a great support system, including my professors here at Jackson State,” she said grinning. Jackson State is proud to call Ms. Abbie Parrish one of its own.
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