ETSU and Niswonger Foundation team up to offer dual enrollment

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Nov 16, 2018 at 5:32 PM

East Tennessee State University and the Niswonger Foundation are partnering to provide online dual enrollment courses for high school students in East Tennessee and beyond, the university announced Thursday. 

Through Niswonger Online, students can earn both college and high school credit hours at ETSU, and application and qualifying course fees will be waived for those who meet eligibility requirements.

“To be eligible, they have to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a 19 composite ACT score,” ETSU Assistant Director of Admissions Dawn Bridwell said, adding that students with a 3.4 GPA can also receive additional funds. “This doesn’t just serve Niswonger Scholars, this serves any student across our state that wants to participate.”

Dual enrollment students will also be allowed to participate in Buc Start, a set of courses including digital media, health sciences and computing that give students a chance to gain up to 24 hours, or two semesters, worth of college credit prior to starting college as a full-time student. 

“We at ETSU believe this partnership is a unique opportunity to address college affordability, access for many students who have not previously had dual enrollment course opportunities and an aggressive strategy for supporting the state’s Drive to 55 initiative,” Bert Bach, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at ETSU, said in a news release announcing the program.

Niswonger Foundation President and CEO Nancy Dishner said the new program will “greatly benefit rural high schools and economically disadvantaged students and families.” 

“The Niswonger Foundation is focused on ensuring that all students have the opportunity to see post-secondary education and a fulfilling career as a goal for their lives,” she said in the Wednesday press release. 

Bridwell said the program will be particularly beneficial for “underserved” students in rural areas like Johnson County, for instance, who are unable to commute to ETSU. 

“With all the fees we’ve waived, it’s a great opportunity to get some college credits while in high school,” she said. 

Bridwell said the program is still taking applications for the upcoming spring semester and will start taking applications for the next fall semester in March. Those who have additional application questions can call the ETSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 423-439-4213. 

For more information on ETSU dual enrollment opportunities, visit www.etsu.edu/dualenrollment or email [email protected]

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