SHS students earn free college credit

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This story was made possible by McCarthy Drafting, LLC with their support for Newspaper In Education. NIE is an educational partnership between the newspaper industry and participating school systems. The Sealy News’ goal for the NIE program is to use the newspaper to help teachers enhance the classes they are already teaching.

Although most people are aware that Sealy High School has a welding program, some might be interested to know that students can gain college credit from this program.

Sealy High School partnered with Blinn College to offer this free program to its students.

SHS Welding teacher Mike Ellisor said this program allows students to actually take these college classes at Sealy ISD.

“It will then show up as Blinn credits for them if they sign up and are enrolled,” Ellisor said.

SHS Welding teacher Troy Oliver said they offer several welding classes that are each worth four college hours.

“At the end of the two years, they could have 12 hours,” Oliver said.

Ellisor said that about 20 students per year take advantage of this program.

“It is absolutely free to the students. It’s mostly our juniors and seniors that have been in the welding program that are now taking these college classes,” he said.

Starting next year, this will be a weighted GPA class, Ellisor said.

“This will be for class rank. It actually will be equal to taking a dual credit English or biology class,” Oliver said.

Ellisor said, in the welding classes for college credit, they are going to learn oxy settling procedures.

“How to cut metals, then they will move on to stick welding. This will be the normal arc welding. They will learn a lot of stick welding as well,” Ellisor said.

Oliver said that students who excel in the class will take their certification test.

“We take a small group to do that each year. A big component of what we do is safety. We are teaching these students the right way to work safe. It can be a challenge sometime for 17- and 18-year-olds,” said Oliver.

Ellisor said this is a perfect class for students who like to learn hands-on.

“If they like building and working, they aren’t afraid to work hard, then this is a good choice for you,” he said.

Oliver said even students who aren’t thinking of pursuing a career in welding should consider signing up for the classes at the high school level.

“Wouldn’t you like your first four-, eight- or 12-hour classes on your college transcript to be an A because you took a dual credit welding course at Sealy High School?” Oliver said.

This is a class that can help students in the long run.

“It’s interesting and beneficial to you, but at the same time can help your GPA,” Oliver said.

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