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Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Expanding Opportunities for Dual Enrollment

Thressea Boyd, Valdosta CEO

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has been a leader in South Central Georgia for dual enrollment programs for many years. Students attending public or private high schools and approved home school programs in Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s 11-county service region are given an opportunity to take technical and college level courses while working toward earning a high school diploma 

“This is an awesome opportunity for high school students,” said Dr. Tina Anderson, President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. “Students are getting both high school and college credits, and when they leave high school, they will have a transcript that includes college classes that can be transferred. This is very powerful.”

According to Angela Hobby, Vice President for Enrollment Management, 1,559 dual enrollment students received 9,144 college credits during the 2014-2015 academic year, saving parents $813,816 in tuition and $390,681 in fees. Also, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College contributed more than $100,000 for dual enrollment students to purchase textbooks.

To help more high school students jumpstart their college careers, Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed legislation (Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 132) that improves dual enrollment participation and expands the opportunity for high school students to earn a college degree.

The legislation allows high school students who have completed the state requirements for freshmen and sophomore years to begin taking college-level courses at a public college, university or technical college. Students can work toward earning an associate’s degree, technical college diploma, or college certificate while counting course work toward high school graduation requirements.

The state also provides 100 percent of the tuition funding for high school students enrolled in the program and institutions participating are required to waive all fees.

“High school students can come to Wiregrass, and it does not cost the students, parents or high school any tuition costs,” said Anderson. “If you think about it, this allows a tenth grader to take college-level classes with the goal of eventually earning a bachelor’s degree.”

The dual enrollment improvements are expected to decrease high school dropout rates and increase the number of college graduates in the state of Georgia.

Anderson’s passion is helping students earn a college degree to help improve their quality of life and increase the region’s economic impact and workforce development. 

“If we can increase a student’s quality of life, then incomes go up, home values increase, and we begin to see people moving to our community,” said Anderson. “We have high schools, Technical College System of Georgia and University System of Georgia institutions all working together. This is great synergy, and we all have the same goal, which is to help more students graduate." 

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has expanded its dual enrollment outreach by offering technical and degree level core classes at various high schools in its 11-county service region. 

“We partnered with the high schools to teach courses they currently do not provide," said Anderson. “We do not supplant what the high schools are teaching; we are value added. We look at areas where we can serve the students and provide a new pathway for earning a technical degree.”

For additional information on Wiregrass Georgia Technical College dual enrollment program contact: Stacey Prescott (Valdosta Campus) stacey.prescott@wiregrass.edu or 229-259-5180 or Andrea Fletcher (Ben Hill-Irwin Campus) andrea.fletcher@wiregrass.edu

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