New Dual Credit Laws

News reports are abuzz with new laws in states like Texas and Georgia that make dual enrollment more asessible. DE is not an option for students in 9th grade. See the news report.

"AUGUSTA, Ga. – High school senior Mia Rhodes knew dual enrollment was the best path for her even before 9th grade, and started taking classes at Augusta Tech during her junior year at the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School. “I took computer concepts, introduction to computers, web development, and programming development,” said Rhodes of the classes she took last year at Augusta Tech.

Now, school officials expect to see more students like Mia earning high school and college credit through dual enrollment. Expanding the option to 9th through 12th grades is just one change that comes along with the new “Move on When Ready” program, administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

“It’s not just for juniors and seniors anymore; it’s for students starting high school. They can earn their high school diploma while attending a technical college or any of the colleges in the area,” said Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School guidance counselor Karen McCord.

Augusta Technical College has already seen an impact on fall enrollment numbers, with more than 100 additional dual enrolled students. That’s according to Dr. Nichole Kennedy, who helped write the new program. “It’s also peaked interest so I think it’s helped our enrollment for fall semester because we’ve got a lot more interest coming from high school counselors and parents,” said Dr. Kennedy, Vice President of Student Affairs at Augusta Technical College.

Dr. Kennedy said MOWR also helps ease financial restraints, as millions in state funding will go towards student tuition, books, and fees. “Augusta Tech would waive the difference in tuition, but not all post-secondary institutions did. So students and parents had to come out of pocket for the difference, not only in the tuition, but the books. High school students were limited. Now, they have lots of choices. They’re not limited by financing anymore.”

“They can earn Associates degrees, certificate programs, diploma programs, and have those skills ready when they get to college. They can actually get good paying jobs even right out of high school to help pay for those tuition costs if they decide to go to an out-of-state school,” said McCord, who added the program also doesn’t count against a students’ HOPE scholarship.

MOWR also expands dual enrollment to the summer semester as well, and permits students to choose from a wider selection of approved courses.

“There’s a lot more opportunity for students to pursue different course work,” said Dr. Kennedy. “Under the old way of doing so, the student was kind of locked into a program of study and they couldn’t venture out. Now the student can come to us even if they’re interested in engineering technology or cyber security or a health program. If they choose to take a course outside of that program for their own interest or to fulfill an elective in high school, they may do so.”

This means benefits high school students like Mia can see now and well into their future. “It’s given me some experience on what college might be like and how to be independent and more on top of my work,” said Rhodes.

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