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Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 a.m.

GPC dual enrollment allows students to start college in high school

Enrollment numbers are up at Georgia Perimeter College, and many students have begun to take advantage of the two-year school’s dual enrollment program, starting their college career while still finishing high school.

The idea sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Students have to be dedicated and willing to work, but a survey of 214 former students of the program shows that for many, dua enrollment is a perfect fit.

The survey showed that more than two-thirds of the students are currently attending four-year universities (most popular are the University of Georgia — 23.7 percent; and Georgia Tech — 17.4 percent), and nine out of 10 of those students said that credits obtained in the dual enrollment program were accepted by their current school.

For high school students, there are three options to earn college credit: dual enrollment, advanced placement and internal baccalaureate. But unlike the popular AP courses available in high school, students in DE can have their credits transferred if they earn at least a "C," but in AP, those students have to earn at least a two – but often a three or more – for that credit to transfer to university with them.

"Dual enrollment affords a much broader range of curricular opportunities than do the IB or AP programs," according to Duel Enrollment Coordinator Jeff Meadors. "Additionally, Carnegie units will convert back to the high schools starting in the fall of 2010 as a full unit. Currently, they transfer back as .6. This change will make Dual Enrollment an excellent option for high school juniors and seniors and create a smoother scheduling situation for high school counselors. We enjoy excellent relationships with counselors in Newton and surrounding counties, so my goal is to make Dual Enrollment as seamless of a process as is possible for them."

According to a release by GPC, "High school students who attend DE classes at GOC will also be better prepared for the global workplace they will be entering as adults. By virtue of GPC’s diverse student population, DE students interact with classmates representing a wide spectrum of ages, ethnicities, nationalities and viewpoints."

Credits for DE courses are based on the grade the student earns in the course, and while some Ivy League schools and Armed Forces academies will not accept credit from DE, the majority of private and public instructions will. Courses in English composition, math (which includes calculus, college algebra, statistics and pre-calculus), political science, economics, psychology, history and public speaking have all traditionally received a direct credit match.

Not all students are eligible for DE however, but those juniors and seniors with an SAT score of 970 (verbal of 480 and math of 440) or an ACT composite of 20 (English of 20 and math of 18) and an unweighted 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale should contact GPC to see if they are eligible to participate in the program. There is a $20 application fee required as well.

"I urge anyone who is interested in the program to call us," said Meadors. "A lot of parents and students might be unclear about what we offer and how it can benefit them but we will make time to speak with everyone and answer their questions. Dual enrollment is not for everyone, but it is a great program for a lot of students."

For more information, contact Meadors at (770) 278-1308 or Administrative Secretary for Dual Enrollment and Honors Programs Julie Locicero at (770) 278-1270.

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