BHS offers dual credit through Eastern Kentucky University

The possibilities are now virtually limitless for Barbourville High School students who wish to get an early start on their college education. After partnering with Eastern Kentucky University, BHS now offers a dual credit program, allowing students to graduate high school with upwards of 30 college hours.

Currently, EKU offers a criminal justice program for BHS seniors, juniors and sophomores that meet certain criteria. The courses provide an introduction to criminal justice, overview of the history of the field, career opportunities and impact on citizens.

To qualify, students must have a 3.0 GPA and a 20 composite ACT with an 18 in English and a 20 in Reading. Students can take two classes per semester and, because the course is a hybrid, students do not have to travel to EKU. All course work is done either online or in a BHS classroom with an EKU instructor who travels to the school.

Carla Lawson, an instructor with the dual credit program, states while there are many reasons to enroll in these courses, the biggest advantage “is the college hours they can get before they go to college.”

Past students mirror Lawson’s approval of these courses, too. Hunter Jones, a BHS student who participated in the dual credit courses last semester, said he enrolled in the criminal justice classes because “policing, in all its facets, genuinely fascinated me and I wanted to know more.”

These courses are not just for students interested in the criminal justice field, either. Lawson said many students opt to take the courses as electives. Regardless of intended major, students get an early start in their collegiate education and it assists students in completing their degrees quicker.

Scholarships are available to students who wish to take these courses, making them free for some who enroll. Last semester, counselor Marsha Hubbs reports 16 of 17 students received scholarships for the courses.

Books for the BHS dual credit courses are also taken care of.

“Our books are provided to them. We provide all information they need so there’s no added cost. The cost of books can keep someone from taking classes so we try to provide whatever they need,” continued Lawson.

Upon high school graduation, students can opt to continue their education at EKU. If students wish to attend another Kentucky college, Counselor Marsha Hubbs said “through the state scholarship, the classes are guaranteed transferable in Kentucky with participating schools.”

James David Lawson is the EKU RC&S Dual Credit Coordinator and can be emailed at for more information. Students can apply online at by clicking the dual credit link.