As the bus pulls up in the semi-circular driveway at Belle River District High School each Thursday at mid-day, a group of Noble students seamlessly change from high school students into College students. After their short commute, these students arrive at the St. Clair College South Campus in Windsor, or at the St. Clair College Thames Campus in Chatham and make their way to their various classes on the college campus. These BRDHS students are taking part in the Dual Credit program which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
The program exists in part to help students accumulate credits to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. By successfully completing their course, the students obtain a high school credit as well a college credit which they access once they are enrolled in a college or apprenticeship program. However, the Dual Credit program’s benefits do not end there. One of the most important elements for participating students is the experience that they gain at the College which helps them choose a career pathway. At a time when students face so much uncertainty about their future, this opportunity can help take a big step in the right direction to an exciting and fulfilling future. Students choose from among the many courses from various sectors available each semester. Some of the courses available this year include: Firefighting & Apparatus; Fundamentals of Photojournalism; Introduction to Early Childhood Education, Home renovation trade Skills and Esthetician Essentials.
By participating in the Dual Credit program, some students may be exploring a possible career pathway while others are actually getting a head start on their upcoming programs. For instance, future university business student Ryan, is enrolled in a Customer Service course, while P.J, a future electrician, is enrolled in the Electricity 1 course. Both agree that the experience of Dual Credit has been extremely worthwhile in solidifying their post-secondary choices.
“I love going to Dual Credit” said grade 12 student Faith Churchill who is enrolled in the Baking Course at St. Clair College. “When I put on my chef coat and get to work in the kitchen, it’s a great feeling. It always smells so good in there and I’ve learned some techniques that I’m using in my Co-op placement at Sunrise Bakery. ”
Student Success at Belle River District High School includes many programs to meet students’ individual needs. This Dual Credit program gives the students the opportunity to customize their leaning in high school and benefit from experiential learning. Dual credit gives students experience that helps them make a successful transition to college or an apprenticeship. By walking the college’s halls and working with college staff, the students envision themselves more easily attending post-secondary. For these students, a great first step towards their career is only a bus ride away. Keep up the great work Nobles!