High School Students Excel at Blackhawk’s Welding Program
January 2, 2020
Quinton Scoville and Gabriel Christiansen are just two of several high school students taking advantage of dual credit opportunities at Blackhawk Technical College.
Dual credit allows high school students to simultaneously earn both high school and college credit. Quinton and Gabriel are both enrolled in the Welding program at Blackhawk. Each week, the students spend time at their high schools and the college. “The program is a FlexLab and that’s why I’m able to go to high school and college,” said Quinton.
Quinton started attending Blackhawk during his junior year of high school. “I want to show future employers that I’m dedicated and have a passion for what I’m doing,” said Quinton. He manages high school classes and part-time work while progressing through Blackhawk’s Welding program. Now, he is on track to graduate from both his high school and Blackhawk in the spring.
“I wanted to get a job as soon as I graduated high school,” explained Gabriel. After learning about dual credit options at Blackhawk, Gabriel discovered the Welding program. He started the program during his last semester of high school and will return next semester to complete the program in time for spring graduation.
At times, the students faced challenges – such as working on “hard projects like welding overhead for the first time,” explained Quinton – but the instructors were always within reach. “I would ask for help, they would explain it to me, and when I did it, they would check-in and make sure I was getting it,” shared Gabriel. Welding Instructor Joe Kluge explained, “They are very hard workers, determined to be excellent welders, and are excellent representatives of the program outcome we strive for.”
Quinton and Gabriel shared how the other students also helped create a supportive environment at Blackhawk. “The Welding program is filled with nice people,” said Quinton, “they treat me as if I’m a college student, or adult, and I really like that.” “I never felt like I wasn’t supposed to be here,” explained Gabriel, “The students know I’m a high school student and they don’t treat me differently. I’ve made a lot of friends here.”
Welding Instructor Nick Mauer shared, “These two students are fantastic to work with and I look forward to working with the high schools to guide students into the welding industry.”
Dual credit options are available for high school students looking to get a jump start on, or completely finish, a program at Blackhawk. “If you know what you want to do, and you’re able to go to college for free for it, then go for it,” shared Quinton. Alternatively, some students take just a class or two as an “opportunity to discover what they want to do for a career before graduation,” added Welding Instructor Bobbi Bishofberger.
Over the last five years, the Wisconsin Technical College System has seen a 69% participation growth in students earning dual credit. These opportunities provide students with cost savings, early entry to career pathways, decreased college remediation, reduced time to degree completion, and stronger postsecondary outcomes.
Learn more about dual credit options at Blackhawk at https://blackhawk.edu/Programs-Classes/Start-College-in-High-School.