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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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3/16/2013 3:35:00 PM
MUHS student gets head start on college with dual credits
After high school will enter college as nearly a junior

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD - It isn't easy, but Mingus Union High School students can earn dual credits for high school and college. Mingus senior McKenzie Mulcaire has been doing just that.

"McKenzie will graduate this May with her high school diploma and just a couple of classes shy of an associate's degree," said MUHS Principal Tamara Addis. "Her goal is to keep pushing, entering the university as nearly a junior."

Addis explained that students can take dual enrollment at Mingus in their regular schedule.

"The courses are taught here at Mingus with Mingus teachers who have master's degree in the content area that is taught," Addis said. "They receive both high school and college credit for no additional fee."

The students obtain a true college transcript that is accepted anywhere Yavapai College transcripts are taken.

"There are prerequisites from the college," Addis said. "Students need to pass the Compass exam through the college or score high enough on the AIMS reading test to qualify for core courses."

McKenzie said she got started on the dual enrollment courses during her sophomore year. She said her mom, Rachel, was just going back to school after being out for 10 years and had to redo math and science. So McKenzie decided she, too, would get stated on earning college credits.

Among other courses, McKenzie has earned dual credits in intro to algebra, human growth and development, college algebra, critical thinking, English 101 and English 102.

"When I graduate, I'll have 44 credit hours at Yavapai College," McKenzie said. "I went through a phase last year where I was determined to graduate from Yavapai before high school."

But with working part time and raising livestock for the fair, that schedule ended up being just a little bit too heavy for her.

"I'm super involved with FFA," she said. "I'm a reporter this year. Something had to give."

Her schedule includes participating in team roping, a rodeo event.

"I do it on my own with my grandpa," she said. She is just now starting to get into competition in the event.

She has also been involved with Career Development Events competition in Agriculture Marketing at the FFA Nationals, finishing fifth in the nation.

"My family has been very, very supportive," she said.

McKenzie's daily schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for social life. Her day typically starts with waking up and taking her brother to school. Her first hour is an Ag class at 8:30 a.m. Her second hour is her teacher assistant period, and pre-calculus takes up her third class hour of the day.

She is off campus by 11:30 to grab a bite to eat and be at work from 1 to 5 p.m. Then she drives to Cornville for roping practice or home to work with her livestock project and then homework.

"I'm super close with my family," McKenzie said. That keeps her from feeling like she has missed too much from her social life.

McKenzie says that what she has found the most interesting from her schedule has probably been the process itself.

"I had to be really on top of it," she said.

McKenzie knows she will attend college after high school, but that's all she knows for certain at this time.

"I'm very undecided about what I want to do," she said. "Something I love that really challenges me."

She definitely has some areas of interest, including journalism and animal science.

"I love public speaking," she said, "but don't want to go anywhere near politics."

She said she has been looking at the University of Arizona and Cal Poly, as well as Texas A&M and Baylor.

"My plan right now is to just keep taking classes that make sense," McKenzie said. "I don't want to spend money on classes I won't use."

And that common-sense thought is the idea behind dual-credit courses. Students can save not only a lot of money on course credits but also a lot of money by reducing the time it takes to earn a college degree.

The Mingus Union Course Catalog identifies one more very important advantage: "Studies show that students who acquire college credits while still in high school are more likely to continue their education beyond high school."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: I Don't

know you Miss McKenzie but I know your parents must be very proud of you! If I would have had kids I'd sure want then to look at you as a role model. Just one bit of advice. Never stay so busy that you miss out on your youth.

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Foist

McKenzie is an outstanding student ,Mingus has so many students like Mc Kenzie it is truly an opportunity to get ahead in school and life. I wish all parents and students would take advantage of the AP courses and Yavapai college offerings. Mingus has many teachers led by Ms. Addis bringing both instructional and finincial opportunities to our students.
Good luck McKenzie , and thank you Mingus staff. Tf


Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Article comment by: Saving a TON of money!

This gal is saving herself and her parents a TON of money by doing this.

Go ahead and price out what a degree costs these days, even at a public college.

You won't find a better deal than this.


Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Good going, McKenzie!

Ain't easy. But imo, this is the best advanced placement program going. Glad Mingus has it!

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lu Parker

Way to go, McKenzie, and just keep on going! You are a joy to be around and certainly a blue ribbon winner for MUHS!!!!



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