Graduating high school with college credits gives Mater Dei Prep students a competitive edge when it comes to applying to college. Through the Seton Hall University Project Acceleration and Brookdale Community College Dual Enrollment programs, both part of the Mater Dei Prep College Advantage Program, students graduate from high school with a significant advantage in college placement, admissions, and graduation status.
The College Advantage Program essentially provides students the opportunity to start college while still in high school. Students earn college credit while taking both Seton Hall University and Brookdale Community College classes on the Mater Dei Prep campus. The college-level courses are taught by Mater Dei Prep faculty members who are also adjunct professors at the colleges.
“The advantages of learning to succeed in collegiate classes while in high school are two-fold,” said James Hauenstein, president and principal of Mater Dei Prep. “Developing a foundation of post-secondary skills means students are more prepared for college.” Mater Dei Prep senior Luke Lino concurred, saying, “The College Advantage Program gives me an inside look at the work load waiting for me in college.” Added Mr. Hauenstein, “Additionally, those credits are a financial plus, helping offset the cost of the next four years of education.”
All Mater Dei Prep students are encouraged to make the most of this program and many have done that. Priscilla Lacey’s daughter, Jordan, officially graduated from Mater Dei Prep in 2015. With an early enrollment program offered through her university and her 18 credits from the College Advantage Program, Jordan will graduate this May with honors from Johnson and Wales University. “The College Advantage Program at Mater Dei Prep was a tremendous financial advantage for our family,” said Ms. Lacey. “My daughter will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in three years since she had enough transfer credits to skip general classes and concentrate on the classes needed for her major.”
And that is one of the main benefits of the program: being able to apply credits to general classes, thus opening up college schedules for earlier completion of major coursework. That is exactly how senior Kayley Anthony plans to utilize her 28 credits from the College Advantage Program. “I will be studying occupational therapy [in college], so already having so many credits gives me the ability to take fewer credits per year while at college and allows me take more courses geared towards my major,” she explained. Not having to take elective classes will also open her schedule for the “shadow days” required by her major.
Over half of Mater Dei Prep seniors are enrolled in at least one college credit course. On average, students earn 14 credit hours in their senior year and nine credit hours in their junior year. Currently, Mater Dei Prep offers 14 college-level courses across all subjects: English, history, science, math, and religion. To learn more about the College Advantage Program or any of the academic programs Mater Dei Prep offers, please call (732) 671-9100.