Three Hamilton High School students are taking some college classes while they're still in high school. In the future, students might be able to earn dual credits for the classes before they graduate from high school.

HHS Principal Kevin Conwell said in a district news release that a new partnership with the Bitterroot College in Hamilton is providing high school students a "great springboard...to pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities."

Dustin Scott and Shandarra Mansfield are two of the students in what's being called a "trial run" of dual enrollment with the high school and the Bitterroot College of the University of Montana. Funding for the project was provided by a portion of a $5,000 Graduation Matters grant with the Student Assistance Foundation. The money pays for classes, books and software.

Bitterroot College Director Victoria Clark said, "...teenagers experiencing early college through dual enrollment opportunities have higher rates of graduating from high school, higher rates of enrolling college and higher rates of completing college."