A Project for Better Journalism chapter

This is A College Classroom!

College courses are underway at Harrisonville High School.The University of Central Missouri (UCM) has teamed up this year with Harrisonville High School in offering three new dual credit courses for juniors and seniors. The courses are Music Appreciation and Composition 1 and 2.

Kip Mathew and Jennifer Vellenga are the high school teachers that prompt these courses. Students can earn three credit hours from UCM in each of these classes.

However, there are specific requirements to earn college credits in these courses. There is a fee you have to pay through the UCM and pass the class with a C average. Students also have to purchase their own textbooks.

The Composition class has additional requirements to get college credit. You have to earn at least an 18 on the English portion of the ACT, or have taken the Compass reading and writing tests and passed both with a score over 60 in order to apply for dual credit.

Kip Mathew is the vocal music director at HHS. This is his first year teaching Music Appreciation for dual credit.

“I am looking forward to teaching at a collegiate level,” Mathew said. He hopes to excite students and help them discover new material.

“I wanted to go into this class because it is going to help with college credits,” said junior Savana Hayward.

As the new semester begins, students are thrilled to be taking these classes because it makes things cheaper in the long run.  

“While Music Appreciation at most colleges is not on par with the rigors of a math or science course, this will give me a chance to challenge students and work with students who are ready to accept that challenge,” Mathew said.

Students in the composition classes say they appreciate the preview of  how college life will be. “I like being able to get a feel for the college workload before diving in next August,” said senior Devin Hawkins. Hawkins said she really likes being able to take dual credit in high school because the classes are cheaper and she gets more one-on-one time with Vellenga.