Life as a concurrent student

High school students take classes at SCCC to gain two degrees simultaneously.


Crusader file photo

Hugoton High School transports high school students to Seward County Community College every morning for them to attend their concurrent classes on campus.

William Swanson, Reporter

Being a concurrent or dual enrolled student can be a convenient resource for students who are attending high school and also want to take a few college classes in their free time. Yet, it can also be a very challenging experience given the conflicting schedules attending two different schools can pose.

Concurrent enrollment is when a high school student takes college classes at their own high school campus for college credit. Dual enrollment is when a high school student attends classes on the actual college campus. These may help students develop skills in graphic/game design, Welding, diesel technology, and auto body repair that they wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise as a high school student, but it’s also a great way for them to gain a parcel of familiarity others coming fresh out of high school might not have or expect when starting their freshman year of college.

For Henry Wiebe, a former concurrent student who took his college classes online during his senior year at Rolla High in Rolla, Kansas, saw it as a no-brainer.

“Honestly, it was the ease of access. I didn’t have many classes that were required for my senior year, so it was pretty easy. I took English comp. 1 and comp. 2, intermediate and college algebra. It was easier to take the classes out there than having to come out here to an instructor I didn’t know,” Wiebe said.

My experience has been pretty good, I really like it. There’s not much of a difference. It’s just like waking up to go to the high school, except it’s the college

— Pablo Garcia

Wiebe is currently a sophomore taking classes in diesel technology out at the SCCC industrial technology campus and plans on working under someone in a shop once he finishes his degree, and then hopefully running his own shop soon after.

Pablo Garcia, who is taking classes in auto body repair while attending Liberal High School as a senior, is also not only a concurrent student, but also works a part-time job at Dillons when he is not in class.

“My experience has been pretty good, I really like it. There’s not much of a difference. It’s just like waking up to go to the high school, except it’s the college,” Garcia said.

Garcia plans on getting his degree in auto body, and then working for a while until he can afford to take classes for his CDL.

For others, like Angela Salinas, it can be hard to balance the time between the two schools. Salinas, who is a junior at Liberal High School and is taking classes in diesel technology at the industrial tech, finds the time constraints challenging.

“There’s a scheduling struggle for sure, like this class goes until 11:20 a.m. And I actually have classes at the high school that begin at the same time. But I’m working on getting my schedule figured out,” Salinas said.

Salinas plans on coming back her senior year and taking a few more college classes possibly in auto repair. She plans on working for a year after that to afford to “actually” attend college.