We are students in the St. Bonaventure Dual Enrollment Program (SBU DE) and are writing to address the comments made by John G. Wortman in letter to the Editor on April 3rd.
First, we would like to make clear that we do not feel that Dual Enrollment courses are superior to Advanced Placement (AP) Courses. We recognize that both educational tracks equip students with tools that will allow them to succeed in college. We also recognize, and encourage others to recognize, that it is impossible to determine which of these two programs is more difficult than the other unless a student has participated in both AP Classes and Dual Enrollment classes, which John Wortman, many AP students, and Dual Enrollment students alike, have not.
We do not feel that Donna Zarinczy's comments were meant to undermine public education in Warren. Ms. Zarinczy was simply voicing her opinion about the nature of the Dual Enrollment program. Frankly, criticizing someone who serves as a community volunteer is not constructive. Others, as has been made quite clear, are entitled to their own opinions and can voice them as they please. However, when the reputation of the SBU DE program is repeatedly smeared, the students of SBU DE feel it necessary to stand up and protect the program.
Taking advanced courses is a great way for students to prepare themselves for college. However, AP courses are not the only option that allows students to reach their maximum potential. The SBU DE program allows students to experience college courses, taught by full college professors (PhD's). Many students in SBU DE attain a significant amount of college credits, allowing them to enter college as a sophomore and expand their academic goals. This is truly a unique opportunity for students in our community.
The SBU DE program is a tremendous asset to this school district and our community. It is a shame that individuals have chosen to make derogatory comments about the program which have no basis in fact.
The issues with grading and cost have been dealt with. There is absolutely no reason for the Dual Enrollment program to be the target of continuous scrutiny. We only hope that people recognize the SBU DE Program for what it truly is: an extremely important educational tool and community asset that is positively impacting the lives of the many who attend.
Nick Papalia and
of St. Bonaventure