09:56 AM

Dual Enrollment Sets up Students for Success

Matthew -- Newsroom pic 2

About halfway into their high school careers, New Berlin West senior Matthew Cannon and eAchieve Academy senior Fiona Beal finished a substantial number of required classes needed to graduate from their respective schools.

 Because of how they mapped out their academic schedules, both had lighter class loads in their junior and senior years. They could have graduated early from high school, but instead they chose to earn dual credit and take classes at WCTC – many of which were paid for by their school districts.

 "In my sophomore year, one of the school counselors was talking about the Start College Now program. He knew I had a lot of my high school classes completed, and he knew that I was interested in the automotive side of things," Matthew said.

 Matthew then enrolled at WCTC in fall 2020 and began taking classes in the Automotive Technology program, and by the end of his junior year, he earned the embedded Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair technical diploma. By this summer, and through the new WCTC Excelerate initiative, he will complete the full associate degree.

 While Matthew is still confirming his post-WCTC plans, he does have an interest in engineering. His mother, Janet Cannon, said no matter what path he chooses – direct to the workforce or more education – the associate degree gives him a strong start.

 "When we broke it all down, it just made sense for him to work toward the full associate degree," she said. "Then, if he wants to go into engineering or do something else, the associate degree should make him more marketable as a technician."

Fiona worked ahead taking high school classes last summer, and had also previously earned dual credit from another high school. As a result, she needed to finish just one class her senior year, so she enrolled at WCTC and began taking Mechanical Design Technology (MDT) classes in fall 2021. With her WCTC course load being nearly that of a full-time College student – she officially became one through WCTC Excelerate.

"Being a part of (WCTC Excelerate) is nice for Fiona because, as a program student, as soon as a class is available, she can sign up, get into that next class and move forward," Ryan Beal, Fiona’s father, said. "Without that, there’s a wait and a worry that she might not be able to take that next course." (Program students, unlike course-takers, have the benefit of priority registration.)

 After this semester, Fiona will have finished the first year of the MDT program. "I’m on schedule to be done by spring of 2023, so I’ll be getting my associate degree when I’m 19. It’s pretty nice to be a year ahead," 
she said

 >>For more information on WCTC dual enrollment options, visit

>> Please see main story outlining Excelerate model.