Tanya Sarkis took four dual credit courses during her senior year at Wheeling High School.
The dual credit courses allowed her to simultaneously earn high school and college credit, and better understand the rigor of college.
Sarkis, now a freshman at DePaul University, was able to earn 18.5 college credits through those four dual credit classes and saved about $11,000 in college tuition. She can also graduate college ahead of schedule.
About Tanya Sarkis
Studies at: DePaul University
College Major: Business Administration
Advice to District 214 students interested in taking dual credit classes: "Take advantage that (District 214) offers dual credit classes. If you put your mind to it, you can pass the class."
“I want to thank all the teachers who taught a dual credit class,” Sarkis said. “Wheeling teachers really helped us, especially in motivating us to do well in the classes and making sure we were ready for college. They all genuinely cared.”
More than 80 dual credit courses available
Dual credit courses are one of the many early college credit opportunities offered to District 214 students so they can save time and money on college, and gain skills to succeed.
District 214 offers more than 80 dual credit classes, such as College Algebra, College Speech and College World Religions, through partnerships with higher education institutions. Along with dual credit, District 214 students can also take advantage of Advanced Placement (AP) classes and the District’s Early College Center.
Sarkis, who graduated Wheeling in May, said she chose to take dual credit classes because she wanted to challenge herself and save money on college costs. Unlike AP classes, students do not need to take an exam at the end of the year and instead are able to earn college credit by passing the class.
"The teachers I had really made you realize this is how college is going to be. There are certain deadlines that aren’t going to be extended."
What to expect from dual credit classes
Dual credit classes move quickly, Sarkis said, and a lot of material is covered during the school year. She remembers studying for weekly exams and writing college-level essays with strict requirements for some of her classes.
But students should know they can handle the work if they’re driven and motivated, she added.
“I know what to expect now,” she said. “The teachers I had really made you realize this is how college is going to be. There are certain deadlines that aren’t going to be extended.”
Ultimately, Sarkis earned all A’s in her dual credit classes – College Algebra, College Speech, College English and Entrepreneurship. One of the courses – Entrepreneurship – counted toward her college major – business administration – and another course – College Algebra – allowed her to bypass a college precalculus course.
“I’m really glad (that) we were offered dual credit classes. They really did make a difference,” she said. “Now I feel more confident. I feel like I’m ahead in college.”