Increased access to free STEM classes for high school students

July 20, 2021

Biology Instructor Khalid Holmes with one of his students.

High school students in the 10th, 11th or 12th grade in Madison County and parts of Morgan County are eligible to enroll in free STEM classes at Drake State Community & Technical
College this fall.

The classes are offered through the college’s dual enrollment program and are funded by a Workforce Development grant from the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).

Previously students were limited to taking a career technical class to be eligible for the dual enrollment program at Drake State. The grant was intended to generate interest in technical and trade careers to help address workforce shortages. To place a stronger focus on STEMrelated careers, the ACCS has lifted that limitation effective Fall 2021 semester.

“Now students can access free STEM classes through dual enrollment if they do not have interest in technical or trade careers,” said Dr. Carolyn Henderson, Drake State Dean of Instruction. “This is especially important in Huntsville because of the large number of STEM-related careers in our community.”

Interested students can take classes in various STEM-related subjects such as biology, computer science, engineering, math, physical science and physics. Once a class is completed successfully, dual enrollment students receive credit that is applied to both their high school and college transcript. Families often use dual enrollment/dual credit programs to make college more affordable because students do not have to pay for tuition, fees or books.

Students with a 2.5 overall GPA and written approval of the high school principal, counselor or designee are eligible to apply for the dual enrollment program at Drake State. Fall classes begin August 16 so there is still time to apply.