Former students talk up Prairie school programs
What do students have to say about our programs?  Also a note from the Diesel Mechanics Instructor at LCSC
Any student with plans to attend a four-year college should be very interested in dual credits. The credits I earned in high school eliminated more than half of my required core credits and also a whole semester of college. One year of attendance at the University of Idaho, for Idaho residents, is approximately $18,700. By taking 24 credits in high school, I was able to save half of that total. I recently met with my advisor who told me that all my core classes are finished, and I will be a junior my second year in college. I will graduate in three and a half years, one semester early. For most four-year college students, it takes four to five years to graduate. On top of this, I also will not have to take more than about 15 credits a semester to reach my required credits by the end of fall semester 2013. This is a relatively light load and will give me much more free time to work or study. Aside from the money factor, I also felt prepared for my college classes. Prairie High School students should feel very privileged to have the dual credit program and the teachers who put in the extra time to make sure they are ready for college.  Many of my peers at the U. of I. had never even heard of dual credits or had the opportunity to save lots of time and money.  It is great to be ahead of the game, and I would advise high school students to take advantage of the work Mrs. Deiss and the staff at Prairie High School have done to make this possible. I would also like to give them a huge Thank You!
I hope this helps, I really wanted to make the point that my teachers in high school did a great job handling the college courses and I think it will get even better with time. Also the fact that I saved a lot of money, and that by getting those credits out of the way in high school I have a lot more time to focus on my studying, and a lesser credit load frees up a lot of time to get involved on campus as well as take on a part-time job. Also, I want to stress the fact that I went to a 4-year college, the credits may not be helpful to students with different plans.
NaTosha Schaeffer

Some of the things that I have really noticed that are positive about the dual credit program is that it has put me ahead of some of the other students who are freshman and some of the classes like English 101 and Speech I have gotten to skip which helps a ton. I think that more classes should be offered because so far, I have learned as much from Mrs. Hinkelmanís Econ Class as I have in college Economics. I have enjoyed not having to waste my time on classes that I will not be using and being able to take classes that pertain more towards my degree. The credits have been easily accepted from LCSC to the University of Idaho, and it is nice not to have to pay again for classes that you have already taken. From firsthand experience, I wrote many more papers in High School English than I did in English 102 in college. There are a lot of good professors, but I think that the small classroom sizes at Prairie and the good teachers have taught their classes very well. I have not been amazed at the abilities of professors to make me learn material any better than PHS teachers, which means that our teachers more than likely could teach just as well as professors. In college I spend a lot less time in class and just more time studying on my own, which is a different approach for me. If I were to tell the seniors anything, it is that college sounds intimidating but itís really a lot like high school; you just have to have your own motivation to do well. Going Greek for me was a hard decision since I have been a small town kid, but it is a good experience, and I have met more people this past semester than I thought would be possible. Now I can walk around campus and end up talking to people everywhere I go just from one semester.
The only thing that I caution students about with the dual credit is that they need to make sure the classes that we are receiving dual credit for are actually classes that are for the degrees that we are going for.  When I took biology in high school as a dual credit, I ended up not needing that class at all because it starts at Bio 115 up here for many of the degrees.
All and all, it is a great program, and I am very glad that we had it. I am also glad to say that talking with many other freshman, our school has done a significantly better job of getting this opportunity to us than many other schools, which really surprised me because of our size compared to so many other schools.

Wyatt Williams

I had 36 dual and tech-prep credits when I entered college at LCSC.  My tech-prep credits were free and I was able to use all of those as elective credits.  If I had gone in to nursing, I could have used Medical Terminology as a core class.
I had such a high GPA because of dual credits that, coming in to college, my academic standing was so high that I was invited into the Honor Society at LCSC.  I was able to use all of my dual credits except Psychology 101.  I found, when I entered my program for a Bachelors of Science and Arts for Elementary Education, that I did not need Psychology 101; I needed Psychology 205.  Most of the programs at LCSC will accept Psych 101, mine didnít.  I could use Psych 101 as an elective credit, but since I had so many tech- prep credits (which didnít cost me anything); I didnít really need Psych 101.  I loved having the dual credits and wish I would have taken more of them Ė especially Art Appreciation.  My advice would be check your major and make sure that all your dual credits are needed for your major.   I would advise students to take as many dual credits as they can, as early as they can.  Donít wait until their senior year to cram them all in.  Taking the dual credit classes prepared me for college classes.  I understood more about college tests and the extra work thatís required when you are taking a college class.  It also helped me understand deadlines and how in college, deadlines are not flexible!

Amber Frei

My name is Bill Frei and I am a 7 year instructor in the Diesel Technology program here at Lewis Clark State College.  I deal with many of the Region 2 schools and their students.  Currently the students coming out of Cottonwood seem to be doing quite well in having Post-Secondary educational goals.  
Most of the students have taken some shop classes and can read micrometers and other basic measuring tools.  This may seem remedial, but most schools do not offer this course any more.  Also, offering the Compass test on site at the high school is a great advantage!  Compass is similar to ACT, or SAT and is what many Professional Technical Programs use for entrance requirements.  The students are advised to take the Compass test early on in high school so they can see the areas that need greater focus.  The test can be retaken to see their progress. With the high number of credits it takes in most college programs today, the Tech Prep, and Dual Credit classes that are being offered at the high school are also invaluable to your students.  Students are routinely turned away or redirected into Gen-Ed classes, simply because they cannot (with any remediation classes) take enough classes per semester to graduate on time.  By having the ability to take many of our Gen-Ed classes while in high school, your students have a definite advantage over many others. 

Bill Frei, Diesel Technology Instructor, LCSC

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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