by Beth McCracken-Harness
When you are thinking about what your teenagers will do over the summer, you might consider a concurrent enrollment class at University of Maryland, College Park. This opportunity is open to talented high school seniors.
My son took courses there in history and PE over the summer, earning an A- and an A. He just got accepted to the University of Maryland, and I think that having previously taken courses there helped.
These courses were paid for by Prince George’s County Public Schools, through the Dual Enrollment Program. Tuition at any public Maryland college is fully covered by PGCPS, and fees and textbooks are also covered for those students who qualify for free and reduced meals. This month, PGCPS is hosting two information sessions for the Dual Enrollment Program.
To enroll in a UMD course, my son had to apply to the university under their concurrent enrollment program for high school students. (That was good practice for applying to colleges in his senior year.) The process was more complicated than taking a course at Prince George’s Community College, but it was well worth it.
To do this:
1) Register for the Dual Enrollment Program through PGCPS: http://www1.pgcps.org/dualenrollment/
For more information, speak with your professional school counselor, or email the PGCPS Dual Enrollment office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Enroll at the University of Maryland, College Park under their concurrent enrollment program for high school students:
The deadline to apply for the summer session is May 1. The application is processed through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and may take up to six weeks. For additional information, contact: email@example.com.
3) Once you are accepted, you may access the online registration system at www.testudo.umd.edu and use the online Schedule of Classes to register. You will need to use your student ID # (your social security number) and PIN # (your initial PIN # is your 6- digit birth date [mmddyy]). You will be asked to change this PIN # once you access the system.
4) Register for the summer session you are interested in.
Take regular summer session classes. (Don’t take the Terp Young Scholars courses. Those are not paid for by PGCPS.)
The university gives its regular students priority, so you can’t actually enroll in a class until the first summer session has begun, but that may not be a problem because you will probably want to enroll in the second session of summer school anyway. (Classes in the first session usually begin before the PGCPS school year ends.)
The process was a little klunky, and I had to email back and forth with the PGCPS Dual Enrollment Office to make sure that the UMD bill was paid and that my son was enrolled But it was not that bad; staff members in the PGCPS Dual Enrollment Office were very helpful and got everything resolved. My son took the courses in the 2nd or 3rd year that dual enrollment was offered, and PGCPS was sill ironing out some kinks, so I think that it will only get smoother. I definitely want to do it again with my daughter in a couple of years.