April 3, 2017
Story and photos by Brandon Steinert
Like many post-secondary education institutions, Barton Community College offers dual enrollment with high schools to give students a head start on college and dip their toes in the waters of higher education.
Home-schooled high schoolers Alyvia and Cherith Crawley of Fort Leavenworth dove in; head first.
Cherith, a senior, will have 29 college credit-hours when she finishes her current course load; Alyvia, a sophomore, will have 26.5.
They accomplished this by taking advantage of dual enrollment, which allows college classes to count for high school credit. Barton’s courses at Fort Leavenworth are offered in accelerated, intensive six-week cycles, which allows the young women to work through many classes in a short duration.
Cherith hopes to attend seminary and eventually earn a master’s degree in counseling or psychology. It’s a long road, but she said it’s exciting to have the first big step out of the way.
“This opportunity is insane,” Cherith said. “I hope to have 35 credit-hours before I finish high school. It’s exciting to realize that because of Barton, I may be able to more quickly realize my goals. I’ll be going into college with a year’s worth of college credits.”
Alyvia stands to reap even more benefits as a sophomore. She also has lofty and lengthy goals to enter pre-med and eventually become a doctor. The many years of schoolwork had her concerned about how and where to start. After hearing about the opportunity at Barton, she hit the ground running.
“I’m probably going to be in some form of professional education for my entire life, so I really started trying to graduate early and get into pre-med,” she said. “Now I don’t have to rush through high school because I can get credit for both college and high school at the same time, instead of doing both faster.”
The Crawley sisters said the short duration of the courses meant a lot of studying and personal sacrifices at home, like time with friends or other recreational activities. For every hour they spend in the classroom, an hour or more at home is spent reading or doing homework.
“To get a three-credit-hour class in six weeks is awesome. You just have to keep up,” Cherith said. “Homeschooling was actually really rigorous and prepared us for this pace.”
“We have to cover a chapter a day,” she said.
The pace isn’t the only reason they said they appreciate Barton’s offerings. The Crawleys haven’t paid a dime in tuition thanks to the GI Bill and Tuition Assistance, along with scholarships available to active duty military and their family members. They also said the instructors are knowledgeable, accessible and willing to go the extra mile to help.
“They don’t firehose you,” Alyvia said. “They’re good at being understanding and knowing what you’re capable of.”
Cherith said she appreciated the instructors’ flexibility.
“They’re willing to work with you outside of class and have very open communication,” she said. “I would email them and get a response back very quickly. They understand you have a lot to keep up with.”
For more information about dual enrollment through Barton and the benefits available to military families stationed at Fort Leavenworth, visit FL.bartonccc.edu or contact Director of Fort Leavenworth Learning Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (855) 509-3374.