New orientation sessions mandatory for first-time dual credit students

Email this article 07/26/2012

Beginning with the upcoming school year, first-time high school and home school dual credit students taking classes through Southwest Texas Junior College will be required to attend an orientation session before being allowed to register for classes.

Dual credit classes allow juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. SWTJC Outreach Director Margot Mata said the mandatory three-hour orientation sessions are designed primarily to outline student expectations and responsibilities.

"We want our dual credit students to fully understand the expectations and responsibilities of taking a college course," Mata said. "We will also use this time to teach students how to access the college portal and WebAdvisor systems, and to discuss all the services we have available to help students succeed."

The orientation sessions will be conducted by SWTJC staff and faculty. Sessions have been scheduled during August in Crystal City, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Hondo and Uvalde. In Uvalde, sessions are scheduled on Friday, Aug. 10, Saturday, Aug. 18, and Friday, Aug. 31.

Additional sessions will be held Aug. 10 in Crystal City, Aug. 11 in Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Aug. 18 in Hondo, and Aug. 29 in Del Rio. Students can attend the session most convenient for them.

"We don't have the staff to schedule sessions in every community where we offer dual credit classes, but we have scheduled sessions across our service area to try and make it as convenient as possible," Mata said.

In conjunction with the new student orientation, sessions will also be held for parents of first-time dual credit students. The parenting sessions will cover information on tuition costs, textbook options and Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. Parents will also be given a chance to tour the Uvalde campus.

Students who have previously taken a dual credit course through SWTJC are not required to attend the orientation session.

"I've already had some calls from parents, so I want to stress that students who have already taken a dual credit class don't have to attend," Mata said. "These upcoming orientation sessions are for first-time students only."

For more information about dual credit orientation, students should contact their high school counselor or call SWTJC at 591-7390.

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