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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – High School sophomores, juniors and seniors have a new, free opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

Drake State Community & Technical College is offering high school students in Madison County and parts of Morgan the opportunity to enroll in STEM classes at the college for free.

Students can take classes in various subjects such as biology, computer science, engineering, math, physical science and physics for the Fall 2021 semester.

Before students had to be taking a career technical class to be eligible for the dual enrollment program, the Alabama Community College System lifted that limitation effective Fall 2021.

Drake State is able to offer these courses for free thanks to a Workforce Development grant from the ACCS. The grant was intended to help generate interest in trade and technical careers to help address workforce shortages.

“Now students can access free STEM classes through dual enrollment if they do not have interest in technical or trade careers,” said Dr. Carolyn Henderson, Drake State Dean of Instruction. “This is especially important in Huntsville because of the large number of STEM-related careers in our community.”

The dual enrollment program allows students to receive both high school and college credit for the course. This makes college more affordable because students do not have to pay for tuition, fees or books. Students also have the potential to transfer the credits to another college or university and put them towards their two or four-year degree.

To be eligible, students must have at least a 2.5 overall GPA and written approval from a high school administrator.

Students can find more information on Drake State’s website or email questions to

Fall classes start on August 16 and there is still time to apply.