HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A new program in Holyoke is helping student-athletes prepare for life after high school.
It's called dual enrollment, and Holyoke is one of the only districts to offer it.
At Holyoke High School, six students on the football team are excelling in the classroom as part of a dual enrollment program.
"I take one class at H.T.C.," offensive lineman Henry Burke tells us. "I'm a sociology student. This is my first class at a college so it's been really interesting."
Students beginning in their junior year can earn college credits, either online or in person, at various schools across western Mass based on their major.
"I take two a year," stated Finn Lubold. "One in the Fall, [and] one in the Spring so I'll have four classes done going into college."
"I really like the whole idea of being able to earn college credits," says linebacker Michael Lukasiewicz. "While still in high school, and getting that college atmosphere and being involved. You can do any of the activities. They encourage you to go to events."
Most colleges require a minimum grade point average, and most of the classes are free through the school.
"I'm very productive," said senior Brendan Leahy. "Even when I'm not in school. Maybe even more productive, because I'm getting college credits and learning a lot more."
The success these student-athletes are having in the classroom is also helping them balance football and school.
"I think it's definitely going to prepare me for college, because," stated offensive lineman Harry Burke. "Now I know what I'm getting myself into before I'm thrown into a new situation."