GGC’s dual enrollment program gives high school students head start on college

Almost 230 high school students from Gwinnett and neighboring counties are getting a jump start on college through Georgia Gwinnett College’s dual enrollment program, in which they take college courses for credit while still in high school.

The program is cost-effective since much of the tuition is covered by Georgia’s ACCEL program and allows students to earn transferable college credit so they can graduate on time.

“Dual enrollment is a vital program in Georgia. Our program has been successful thanks to the students’ hard work and the extensive support received from the high schools in making sure the students are on track for graduation,” said Donald Singer, GGC’s dual enrollment coordinator. He and Sara Bradbury, GGC’s educational program specialist, work closely with each student on course selection and collaborate with high school counselors in Barrow, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Rockdale and Walton counties, as well as the Buford City School System.

Caleb Pendleton, a senior in Gwinnett County, opted for dual enrollment to ease the transition to college and have more time for extracurricular activities.

“I’ve been able to work and save money, take classes in my intended major, and get my pre-requisite classes out of the way,” Pendleton said. “Mr. Singer was fantastic in working with my high school and with me to ensure that I took the classes I needed and enjoyed my time at GGC.”

Interested rising high school juniors and seniors apply accepted to the program register for courses that will complete some or all of their remaining high school requirements, both academic and elective. 

Walton County resident Ellen Jordan decided to participate in dual enrollment when she learned that the credits would count toward both her high school and college degrees.

“I chose GGC because I loved the people, the campus, and the support I knew I was going to receive from the administration and faculty,” Jordan said. “I received an excellent education with the benefit of financial aid, and it looks like I’ll graduate college in 2015 due to the wonderful jump start I had.” 

Can busy high school students handle the extra commitment? Gwinnett high school junior Jennifer Colker said she thinks so. She was able to balance being a full-time student, competing in track and cross country, and working 25 hours per week as a dual enrollment student.

“To be successful, dual enrollment students must be self-disciplined, organized and have good time management skills,” said Colker. “If a student can handle these three criteria, dual enrollment may be perfect for them.”

While their dual enrollment college credits are fully transferable, many of the program’s students consider continuing their college education at GGC since they do not have to reapply to the college after high school graduation.   

To be eligible for dual enrollment, rising juniors or seniors must have the following:

·         Minimum 480 and 460 math scores on the SAT-1 and a combined SAT score of 970 or a minimum of 21 English and 19 math score on the ACT and at least a composite score of 20

·         High school grade point average of 3.0 in college preparatory curriculum

·         Parental consent

·         Plans to complete the University System of Georgia college preparatory curriculum requirement on schedule

The deadline for fall semester application is June 1 and the document deadline is June 8. To apply or learn more visit www.ggc.edu or call the Office of Dual Enrollment at 678.407.5220. 

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