High School Students LEAP Into College


High school students have long-been able to get a jump on college with “advanced placement” courses in high school.
But as Jim Olson reports, this year some high school seniors are taking an even bigger ‘LEAP.’

Mikaylee Bahl and Stephen Ellingson have spent a lot of their senior year at MLS-Mohall here – on computers taking college level courses.

(Mikaylee Bahl, MLS Senior) “I’ll leave here – if I have my math right – with 39 credits of college.”
(Stephen Ellingson, MLS Senior) “That’s a lot more than a lot of people get done in their first year in college so we’re getting a huge head start by doing this.”

Lauren Topp of Midkota High School is on the same track.

(Lauren Topp, Midkota HS Senior) “I never expected that this is what would happen when I started doing dual credit classes but it’s really cool – a unique opportunity.”

Lauren, Stephen, and Mikaylee are three of the seven students who graduated from Dakota College at Bottineau’s LEAP program on Friday.

(Kayla O’Toole, DCB Distance Education Director) “It allows them to graduate from high school with a college degree alongside their diploma.”
(Lauren Topp, Midkota HS Senior) “Main goal was to challenge myself in high school…the added effect that I now have a lot of my generals done.”
(Stephen Ellingson, MLS Senior) “It’s a great money saver – getting credits now in high school and getting college credit.”
(Mikaylee Bahl, MLS Senior) “My parents are definitely a fan of it.”

And why not? The credits cost one-third less than normal, and they transfer to any university system school in North Dakota – and many out of state institutions too.

(Mikaylee Bahl, MLS Senior) “I won’t have to take as many generals when I go to UND as I would if I haven’t had done this.”
(Stephen Ellingson, MLS Senior) “We’re getting a huge head start.”
(Lauren Topp, Midkota HS Senior) “I loved being a part of the program and I hope they continue to do it.”

This was LEAP’s first year – and the seven graduates were more than officials expected and they intend to see it grow in coming years.
Jim Olson, KX News.

LEAP is offered exclusively in the state through Dakota College at Bottineau.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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