MT. JULIET, Tenn. — High school students in Wilson County will have a unique opportunity to earn college credit from the Midstate’s largest university thanks to a new partnership.
Eligible high school juniors and seniors can take part in Middle Tennessee State University’s Dual Enrollment Program, which allows students to enroll in college courses online or on the MTSU campus. In conjunction with the state of Tennessee’s Dual Enrollment Grant program, these students can earn up to 12 hours of college credit at no tuition cost by the end of their high school careers.
“We are excited to partner with MTSU during the 2021-2022 school year,” said Beverly Sharpe, principal at Mt. Juliet High School. “Approximately 50 Mt. Juliet High School students are currently enrolled in classes with MTSU, taking a wide variety of general education courses this semester.”
Sharpe said an additional 20 students have requested classes and plan to enroll next semester.
“We are thrilled to be able to work more closely with Wilson County Schools,” said Casey Brown of MTSU’s Dual Enrollment Office in University College. “So many students from Wilson County continue their education with us after graduation, so this relationship makes a ton of sense.”
Over the last two years, a growing number of students from Wilson Central High School and Watertown High School have enrolled in the program. This fall, however, will see a significant expansion as MTSU and Mt. Juliet High formally partner. Brown expects the connection between the two schools to become even closer over the next couple of years.
“What sets our program apart is the experiential aspect of being a dual enrollment student,” Brown said. “Obviously the primary selling point is an opportunity to get a head start on a college degree without incurring significant costs, but we also encourage our high school students to take full advantage of being enrolled at MTSU. Attend a football game, explore our library, and take advantage of our recreation center. We want students to get a taste of university life.”
“To have this partnership in place is a true career advantage in so many ways,” said Bart Barker, Wilson County Schools spokesman. “Our students are presented with yet another path of post-secondary possibilities and to have MTSU involved is truly special. We know there’s many of our Mt. Juliet parents who are MTSU alums, and their children are zoned for Mt. Juliet High School, so already there’s a high level of familiarity in place.”
MTSU intends to develop similar partnerships with the other high schools in the county as well. Currently, the program is open to any eligible student in Wilson County. Interested students are encouraged to reach out to their high school counselor, and contact the MTSU Dual Enrollment Office at 615-898-5246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Hunter Patterson (Hunter.Patterson@mtsu.edu)