Dual Enrollment a ‘Win-Win-Win-Win’ for Students, Schools, Parents
October 29, 2013 - Area school superintendents, principals, counselors and more met at Southeastern Technical College’s Economic Development Center in Vidalia on Oct. 28 to better understand and expand dual enrollment programs.
Dual enrollment—which refers to programs that allow high school students to earn college and high school credits simultaneously—was examined in several of its forms, most notably ACCEL and High School Dual Enrollment. The programs have slight differences, but they serve the same end.
“Of course, the primary objective of dual enrollment is to keep our students in school so that they graduate and so that they can determine what they want to do with their lives,” said STC President Dr. Cathryn Mitchell.
Several speakers shared their experience with the programs, including Georgia Department of Education ACCEL Program Manager Patrick Blenke.
“I will be the first to admit that post-secondary option, ACCEL, dual enrollment—whatever you want to call it now—is the greatest thing that we've got going on in public education today,” said Blenke.
Blenke broke down the components of the ACCEL program and answered some common questions about the program, updating the attending school staffers on ACCEL’s newest developments. Blenke described the program as a “win-win-win-win.”
“Students win because they can get high school and college credit,” said Blenke. “Post-secondary institutions win because they know they're going to get their money from Georgia Student Finance [Commission]. The parents win because they don't have to pay the money for tuition. And the local schools win because they're going to get money from kids not being in their schools.”
The meeting also included testimony from a dual enrollment student on the value of the programs. Destini Bush, a Tattnall County High School senior, is already employed and was dual-enrolled in Southeastern Tech’s nurse aide program.
“At the end of my 10th grade year, I heard about [dual enrollment] and I didn't really understand what it meant, so I had to go talk to my counselor,” said Bush. “She told me about it, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is how they do it.’”
Bush was referring to her realization that success comes to those who jump at opportunity, and that’s what she did. After discovering that the classes weren’t as impossibly difficult as she thought they would be, she was left with a positive experience that she values greatly.
“I enjoyed dual enrollment and I’m glad I did it,” said Bush. “It was free, it was great, and I’m a step ahead of everybody else.”
For more information on dual enrollment opportunities, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.