Two for One: Dual Credit Program Brings Stockton to Local Schools

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Two for One: Dual Credit Program Brings Stockton to Local Schools

High school students get a taste of college topics, courses.

By Diane D'Amico

 

 

 

Pleasantville High School senior Kimberly Cortes enrolled in her high school’s Holocaust and Genocide studies dual credit course with Stockton University because it was a topic she was interested in and wanted to learn more about.

A trip to the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton reinforced her decision.

“This really helps us understand more about their lives and families,” Cortes said after viewing the videos and exhibits of survivors. “You can see the emotion.”

Holocaust and Genocide Studies is one of a dozen dual credit programs offered by Stockton to area high schools.

Initiated in 2012, Stockton’s dual credit program was created to help high school students be better prepared for college, graduate more quickly and have less debt.

Data collected by Stockton's Office of Institutional Research so far on dual credit students who subsequently chose to attend the University shows that these students have high retention and graduation rates. Beginning in 2014, dual credit students who attended the University as first-time students saw first-to-third semester retention rates from 91 to 94 percent.

Ernest Howard
Ernest Howard, a senior from Pleasantville High School, interacts with the Holocaust Rescuers Exhibit during a visit to the Sara & Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center | Photo by Susan Allen '09, '14

The program has grown steadily. For 2019-20, 32 high schools are participating, with almost 1,100 students registered for courses that earn credits from both Stockton and their high school.

Program coordinator Shawn Manuola, program assistant in the School of General Studies, said she is working with 10 more new high schools for Fall 2020 and existing schools are adding more courses.

“There is growing interest from high schools in North Jersey because there is more interest in Stockton,” Manuola said. “This year we also added Abington Senior High School, our first high school in Pennsylvania, which is offering the Holocaust and Genocide Studies class.”

High school students in Holocaust Resource Center
Egg Harbor Township High School students Wilson Batista, Christopher Butera, Destiny Brown and Isja'monee Banks work on a math project during the math program's pilot year in 2019. | Photo by Diane D'Amico
This really helps us understand more about their lives and families. You can see the emotion."
— Kimberly Cortes
 Dual Credit Holocaust & Genocide Studies student, Pleasantville High School

The high school teachers are trained and vetted by Stockton, and each program has a Stockton coordinator who works with them to develop the curriculum. Steve Marcus, who coordinates the Holocaust course offered at 29 high schools, previously taught it at Egg Harbor Township High School. He said because it is a yearlong class, teachers have some flexibility to customize the lessons to their students’ interests.

“I’m there for quality control, to make sure they are all doing what would be expected in the college course,” Marcus said. “I think the course is popular because there are basic human rights issues that are still relevant today, and students see that.”

Eight new courses added this year include Writing for the Media, Introduction to Health Sciences, U.S. History, and The African-American Experience from 1865. Manuola said the most popular courses are world languages (Spanish, French, Latin and German), math and Holocaust studies.

The Survey of Math class was piloted at Egg Harbor Township and Holy Spirit high schools in 2018-19 as a way to provide a college-level math class to seniors that would meet the college freshman math requirement and help reduce the need for remediation in college.

The math project is coordinated by Stockton Instructor of Mathematics and First-Year Studies Emily Ryan, who previously taught high school math. New Jersey only requires high school students to take three years of math, and Ryan saw the “math gap” many students faced when they arrived at Stockton having not taken math their senior year. Robert Gregg, dean of the School of General Studies, suggested the course to fill the gap.

The opportunity to take college courses in high school not only gives students a jump-start on their college education, but also saves money.  If they choose to earn the college credits, students pay $100 per credit for the courses or $400 for a typical four-credit class. The tuition is waived for students in the federal free and reduced-fee lunch program. For Fall 2019, almost 60 percent of participating high school students had the tuition waived.

Holocaust Resource Center Launches Interactive Biography

Pleasantville High School senior Ernest Howard knew he was looking at a taped video of Holocaust survivor Edward Mosberg, 94, of Parsippany, N.J.

But when Mosberg answered his question about what food was served in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Howard admits he was amazed.

“I felt like he was looking right at me while he was talking,” Howard said during a demonstration of the Dimensions in Testimony Interactive Biography Program at the Sara & Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton.

Mosberg answered more than 1,000 questions about his life over several days of taping. As more students ask questions, the program will learn to adapt Mosberg’s answers to get the most accurate and thorough response.

 

Learn more about Stockton's Dual Credit program.