MILTON — The Santa Rosa School District has re-entered an agreement with Northwest Florida State College for early college/dual enrollment.

The agreement, in effect from Aug. 21, 2017, to July 31, 2018, allows for students from high schools within the county to take classes at NWFSC as a part of a dual enrollment program.

According to the agreement, dual enrollment can shorten the time necessary for a student to complete the requirements for a postsecondary degree and high school diploma; can broaden the scope of curricular options available to students; and can increase the depth of study available for a particular subject.

NWFSC has locations in Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, South Walton County, DeFuniak Springs, Hulburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base, but none in Santa Rosa County.

“We have a few students down in the Navarre area who attend NWFSC for dual enrollment,” Emerson said. “This is not a new development. It started prior to the [Pensacola State College] south campus and has continued in a very limited capacity since.”

The school district also has agreements in place with Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida. PSC has locations in Milton, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Century; UWF is located in Pensacola with a limited campus in Fort Walton Beach.

“We are required to have agreements with the schools participating [in] our dual enrollment program,” said Emerson.

Some residents of Santa Rosa County said that the dual enrollment programs are beneficial for students.

“My son is currently a senior in college and we estimate that dual enrollment saved us about $18,000 in tuition, books and extra living expenses by shortening his 'on campus' college time,” Lori Bitely said.

Brandi Knowles said that her daughter is currently a dual enrolled student and the program has helped her finish high school early and become a full-time college student at 16 years old.