Although it may vary from year to year, typically a number of upper-division Brophy courses are available for college credit through Rio Salado College via what is called its dual enrollment program, which means that the student is dually enrolled as a Brophy student, and also as a community college student. Students taking one or more of these upper-division Brophy courses, who qualify for admission to the college and who are willing to pay the Rio Salado course fee, can enroll in Rio Salado and get community college credit for the course. For example, a student taking Honors Chemistry at Brophy as a lab science credit, can also enroll through Rio Salado for the community college credit (provided he qualifies and pays the necessary course fee). As a result of his dual enrollment, he will get four college credits (three credits for Chem 130 and one credit for the Chem 130 lab).
Once a student is registered, he will be in Rio Salado’s database as a student, and will be able to access official transcripts upon completion of courses.
The benefits of dual enrollment are twofold, and both center on the transcript of community college credits that the student obtains through the dual enrollment program. The first benefit is cost savings. Although a student must pay Rio Salado now to register for the community college credit, the per-credit charge for those courses is much less than equivalent courses at the university level.
The other benefit is that students can begin their university career with credits already earned—think of it as transferring to a university from a community college. Thus, the student has the option to reduce the number of semesters—and the accompanying cost—at a university, or to fill that time with courses he wants to take, which could result in another major or perhaps even another degree.
The cost can be a drawback since Rio Salado fees are on top of Brophy's tuition. The other potential drawback is the “transferability” of the credits. For students likely to attend in-state universities, Rio Salado publishes a credit transfer web page where students and parents can research how dual enrollment credits will transfer into those universities.
For students planning to go out of state, most universities recognize Rio Salado credits as they would any other community college; they may transfer in as certain elective credits. There are some universities - most of them considered "elite," who do not accept the credits.
Our recommendation is that if you’re thinking of going out of state, call the admissions office of one or two “sample” universities that you might consider, explain the dual enrollment program and ask if they accept community college credits.
A student's counselor can advise him to some extent, but ultimately, it is up to the student and his family to determine if dual enrollment makes sense for him within the context of his future plans.