UF’s online dual enrollment program doubled its reach this past academic year, expanding access to five additional Florida school districts but limiting who is accepted.
School districts in Levy, Orange, Dixie and Flagler counties now offer UF’s online dual enrollment option, comprised of more than 40 courses designed and taught by UF faculty to high school students. The program also made eligibility requirements, such as GPA and SAT scores, more selective. The application for Fall 2018 opened Feb. 2.
Brian Marchman, director of UF’s Department of Distance & Continuing Education, said the stricter conditions are natural in expanding the opportunity to more students.
“We simply don’t have the bandwidth to teach courses to an unlimited number of students,” he said. “We also don’t want to make drastic changes that would exclude some qualified students who may be on a trajectory to an institution such as UF.”
Marchman said the program wants to reach more high school students, but it takes time to expand access.
It also depends on the willingness of other districts to participate because they must pay the costs of tuition and books, he said.
About 1,100 students were enrolled in UF dual enrollment last fall from eight school districts, including the Levy County School District.
John Lott, an assistant superintendent for Levy County, said when UF made dual enrollment an option, his district was glad to participate.
“Although the venture costs more, we see it as worth it for our top students,” Lott said. “We are a smaller district, so anytime we can offer another opportunity, we try to do that.”
Lott said some Levy students have taken UF classes on campus in the past, but the online option ultimately proved safer and more practical because it doesn’t require students to find their own transportation to campus.
McArthur High School senior Michaelangelo Hamilton, 18, takes Introduction to Earth Sciences from his home in Hollywood, Florida.
“I think it has a tremendous value,” he said. “It shows to other colleges that you are a student who works hard and wants to do things in life.”
Correction: This article was changed to reflect the application for UF dual enrollment opened Friday, Feb. 2 not Friday, Feb. 9.