Dual Credit

High School Students Earn Free College Credit with Dual Credit!

Every year, high school students in central Wisconsin earn college credits before they even graduate. Dual Credit and other opportunities for high school students give you a head start on college and a chance to explore careers before you commit. The credits you earn are entirely free of charge and—in some cases—may even transfer to other Wisconsin technical colleges or four-year colleges.

Dual Credit...and More

Dual Credit and Start College Now are both forms of Dual Credit at Mid-State that allow you to challenge yourself academically, earn college credits toward a program of study, accelerate your post-secondary degree completion, and save money on tuition and books.

Youth Apprenticeship (YA) is another option that allows you to gain valuable on-the-job training as part of your Mid-State education. 

Which programs are right for you? Explore the options below, and follow next steps to getting started. Adult students looking for information about Mid-State college credit for previous education, work, life, and military experiences should visit our Credit for Prior Learning page. 

Some courses taught at your high school may be taught by a high school instructor specially certified by Mid-State to teach the course. Because these are Mid-State courses, you can earn college credit.

  • Credits are transferable to other colleges.

Dual Credit isn’t just for high school juniors and seniors anymore—sophomores can take Dual Credit courses too!

How Do I Get Dual Credit?

During the first week of class, your Dual Credit high school teacher will assist all students who want to receive free college credits with Mid-State to apply and complete a registration form for the Dual Credit option. Only students who submit this registration form will earn the dual credit. After the class, your instructor will enter your grade with Mid-State, and it will appear on your college transcript.

A Closer Look

  • See Dual Credit Agreements below for Mid-State Dual Credit courses available at your school.
  • See the Dual Credit Manual for more information.

Start College Now is a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) program that allows high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a public school district who are in good academic standing to take classes at Mid-State for both high school and college credit.

  • Interested students apply to their school district asking for approval to take one or more college courses each semester of their junior or senior year.
  • By approving the student to take college course(s), the school district will pay for the student's tuition and fee associated with the cost of the course(s).

How Do I Get Started with Start College Now?

  1. Note important deadlines for submitting your Start College Now application:
    • March 1 deadline for following fall semester start
    • October 1 deadline for following spring semester start
  2. Complete and submit the online Mid-State Start College Now application. (You will need to indicate your course number and term start date on the application.)
  3. Watch for an email confirmation from Mid-State letting you know that your application was successfully submitted. (Mid-State will also send all applications to the school district for approval.)
  4. Watch for an email from Mid-State informing you of your application approval status and next steps.

For detailed information and responsibilities pertaining to the Start College Now program, see the Start College Now instructions on the Wisconsin Technical College System website. Do not complete the application on this page—be sure to use Mid-State’s application linked in step 2 above.

The Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program combines academic classes to meet high school graduation requirements with paid, on-the-job learning with a local employer. Youth Apprentices work and learn under the supervision of a skilled mentor in this one- or two-year elective statewide program.

Benefits of Youth Apprenticeship

  • Begin your career pathway in high school.
  • Get paid to learn from skilled professionals.
  • Develop the skills needed for entry-level employment.
  • Earn a state-issued skills certificate that is recognized by employers.
  • Experience what it’s like to work in the real world.
  • After graduation, move straight into the workforce or continue your education in college.

How Youth Apprenticeship Works

  • High school juniors and seniors from participating schools are eligible to participate. 
  • Youth Apprenticeship requires a commitment of approximately 15 hours per week—a total of 450 hours for one-year apprenticeship, 900 hours for a two-year apprenticeship.
  • Sophomores typically start talking to the Youth Apprenticeship coordinator at their school to make plans for an apprenticeship to begin in 11th or 12th grade, though you can start exploring careers and making plans in the 9th grade.

Steps to Youth Apprenticeship

  1. As early as 9th grade, participate in career exploration activities and research career information.
  2. Attend parent/student information meetings regarding school-to-work options such as Youth Apprenticeship.
  3. Review school-to-work materials and career cluster programs of study. 
  4. Develop a four-year plan to include Youth Apprenticeship. (No later than 10th grade—you will review, revise, and update each year as needed.)
  5. Maintain a passing Grade Point Average (GPA) for all four years of high school.
  6. Meet with YA coordinators and instructors (10th grade).
  7. Apply for desired YA program for following year deadline date (10th grade).
  8. Interview for position (10th grade).
  9. Attend orientation session for new YA students (10th grade).
  10. Begin YA program (11th grade).

Looking for a detailed breakdown for every year in high school? See the Youth Apprenticeship High School Timeline by Year

Get Started

If you’re interested in becoming a Youth Apprentice, talk with your high school’s Youth Apprenticeship coordinator or contact Jackie Esselman (715.422.5413).