Joel Gardoski: Getting a Headstart

Joel Gardoski: Getting a Headstart

Joel Gardoski is getting a running start on his freshman year of college. As a High School Dual Enrollment student at BBC, he has already completed 19 credits - more than a full semester - before even moving into the dorm.

Asa BartosJoel is the third in a line of dual enrollment students. His two older sisters, Laura and Karis, also dual enrolled during high school, both continuing on to graduate from BBC.

The Gardoskis have been living in Clarks Summit since 2000, after serving with their families as missionaries in Poland. As home-school students and living in the area, Laura, Karis, and Joel were able to take both on-campus and online courses while still in high school.

With a variety of talents, Joel serves at Heritage Baptist Church across from the BBC&S campus. In addition to participating in AWANA and mission trips, he plays piano and uses his acting skills for drama ministries and community theatre with Ghostlight Productions.

I was home-schooled from the start by my mom when we were still living in Poland. She's done most of the teaching; my dad has been my teacher for a year of French and for several years of art. Besides that, I took four high school distance education courses from Bob Jones University, and, of course, I have taken a number of classes in BBC's dual enrollment program.

Since my junior year, I have taken seven classes - four on-campus, three online - for 19 credits total. I have already taken General Psychology, Building a Biblical Lifestyle, Cross Training, Honors English, Principles of Bible Study, Introduction to New Testament Literature, and American History II. For me, High School Dual Enrollment was an easy decision, given the benefits. It gave me the opportunity to experience college-level classes, to form relationships with the teachers and students, and counted for both high school and college requirements. If you are planning to attend BBC full-time like I am, being dual enrolled helps prepare you by giving you experience with managing college classes and gives you experience interacting with the college's teachers and other students as well.

I want to take my core Bible classes here,so I will be in the General Studies program. I am planning to transfer to another university, but I still want to attend BBC. There are classes here that I don't want to miss and I want to take as many transferrable classes as I can.

The best thing about being dual enrolled was the early exposure to college life. For instance, I was used to being in a class by myself, literally. It was weird at first, being an eleventh-grader in a classroom surrounded by older students who all seemed to know each other. But I got used to the classroom setting in no time. With online classes, the environment was different, but I was still doing college-level work and interacting with college students.

Being dual enrolled taught me to better manage my time - and to always read my syllabus. Probably the hardest part for me was managing assignments - how to do them, when to turn them in, that kind of thing. But I feel better prepared now that I have experienced that kind of pressure early on. And the professors were always very helpful whenever I had a question about an assignment, and they were gracious when I messed something up.

The real deciding factor for coming to BBC was all the great people, although close proximity and lower tuition for dual-enrolled students had a lot to do with it. The teachers, students, staff, everyone. I made a lot of friends at BBC through dual enrollment classes and I look forward to seeing them again.

Living on campus is what I am looking forward to the most. I can't wait to meet new friends and to spend more time with the friends I have already made. It's funny; I have been involved in so much at BBC, but there is so much more I have yet to experience: dorm activities, campus events, choir. I can't wait!

The High School Dual Enrollment program has given me a lot of experience with college-level classes and campus life, and it has allowed me to start my freshman year with 19 credits behind me. I would recommend dual enrollment to any high school student interested in taking challenging and relevant classes and getting a head start in college.

Learn more about Dual Enrollment here.

Contact information:

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 8/2/2013 1:45:06 PM

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