Interested In Taking a Dartmouth Course?

 Interested In Taking a Dartmouth Course?

By Paul Hurford

All Upper Valley high school students who qualify may take up to four Dartmouth College courses free of charge during their high school years, explains Hanover High guidance counselor, Andrea Johnstone.  However, many students are unclear about how to qualify.

To take a class, you should have a GPA of 3.6 or higher as well as permission from the department coordinator of the subject you wish to pursue.   This option only becomes available when you have exhausted that area of study at the high school level, and it cannot interfere with Hanover class time.  Once the school and your family have filled out the forms, you are completely self-directed, as the school cannot provide any additional support.  However, most courses have study hours in which you can get additional help outside of class. HHS students rarely earn grades below a B, and the grades are factored into their high school GPA.

The most common studies pursued at Dartmouth are math, science, and language courses. Every term, roughly twenty HHS students take Dartmouth classes in these areas.  According to the handbook, a Dartmouth course can count as two high school courses, whether the student takes them for high school or college credits.  However, most colleges will not count them as both.

Senior Niels Kuehlert is taking Greek I, an introductory Greek course taught by Professor Ries Beck. The class has ten students and is one trimester long.  Niels is currently taking five high school courses on top of his Dartmouth course, four of which are honors courses.  On average, he spends three hours a day on Greek and another three hours on his high school homework. He had to drop math to take Greek, but he has notified his colleges, and they support this decision.

Siddhartha Jayanti is taking Computer Science 31 (Algorithms).  He has taken three Dartmouth courses prior to this year, after finishing all the math courses offered at Hanover High in the fall of his sophomore year.  He is currently taking seven high school courses, three of which are honors, as well.  Although the Dartmouth workload is hefty, he finds it enjoyable and recommends it to anyone up for a challenge.  On average, he studies twenty hours a week for Computer science 31 and another twenty hours a week on high school work.

Robert Wild is taking Computer Science 1, an introductory course taught by Professor Balkcom.  He takes five high school courses (three of which are honors) as well and finds the Dartmouth workload to be manageable.  His course is primarily taught in a lecture hall with 150 students, but it breaks into small groups of ten students on Tuesdays. Lectures may be large, but during small groups and outside of class Professor Balkcom tries to be available.

Taking a Dartmouth course is a great opportunity.  Not only is it interesting, but it helps one to prepare for college and earn college credits. Anyone considering taking a Dartmouth course should explore their options.


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