School has been in session for weeks, and some high school students in Frederick County are taking their studies to the next level by preparing for their careers.
Grant Napier is 16, a high school student in Frederick County Public Schools and a participant of the Cisco Networking Program through a partnership with Frederick Community College.
“I’m learning about stuff that I didn’t even know existed like configuring technology that’s like way above peoples’ pay grade,” Grant said. 
Grant is not alone. He joins more than 1,000 other Frederick County Public High School students in the Dual Enrollment Program offered through Frederick Community College who are preparing for life after high school.
“Right now, I’m trying to get a little home business that my father started up, take that over and with the stuff I’ve been learning, it’s been helping,” said Patrick Stalnaker, student in Cisco Networking Program.
The program is not just limited to networking systems. There are 24 programs offered, including engineering, nursing and TV media. Officials said the program is still growing.
“We started four years ago at one high school, offering one course with two small sections for a total of 36 students. This fall, we are in 13 schools and the Career and Technology Center with 798 students,” said Elizabeth Duffy, director of Dual Enrollment.
What makes this program different from your typical vocational program is that students still can earn their high school diploma, certifications of their career choice and college credit all at the same time.
“When students have the opportunity to take a program that is of their career interest, they get an opportunity to figure out is this something that I want,” said Career and Technology Center Principal Michael Concepcion
Officials said some students start college with up to 12-credits, putting the students ahead, plus saving money in college tuition.
Officials said the cost of three credits is about $160.