Students attend college through interactive technology - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

High school students go to college through interactive technology

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By Justin Hanson - bio | email

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - High school students from all over West Tennessee will now be able to get a taste of college life a little more easily thanks to federal funding. 

And through innovative technology, they'll be able to take college classes and still stay close to home. 

Dyersburg State Community College Agriculture instructor Tracy Sullivan spends a portion of her day teaching to an empty classroom. That's because her students are sitting in class more than an hour away, thanks to a few cameras and some interactive technology.

"Still being in high school, it lets you experience what it's like in a college classroom while still being in high school at the same time," said Ripley High School senior Dakota Jones.

Thanks to an $800,000 grant from the USDA, 11 interactive television classrooms will be installed in high schools all over West Tennessee. 

High school students will be able to take ITV classes at Dyersburg and Jackson State Community colleges. 

"It gives them exposure and confidence," said Dyersburg State President Dr. Karen Bowyer. "They can gain a lot of credit hours they can transfer anywhere."

Teachers in Lauderdale County say parents saved nearly $77,000 in tuition dollars last fall through these interactive classes. 

"Studies show students are more likely to begin college, have higher grades in college, and complete college while they participate in duel enrollment," said Donna Smith with Lauderdale County Schools.

"It's easier to do this than an online class," Jones said. "There you could easily cheat and no one would ever know, but in an ITV class, you're kept true to yourself. You must learn."

The interactive classes are scheduled to be up and running just in time for classes this fall.

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