COVINGTON -- Students enrolled in the Newton College & Career Academy will have more options for dual enrollment programs next school year.
Two local colleges, Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia Piedmont Technical College, will expand dual enrollment course offerings next school year after the school building opens. The programs give high school students opportunities to take college-level courses as juniors and seniors.
As with a similar partnership set up at the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers, college instructors will be based at the school to teach college-level courses to Newton County high school students.
James Woodard, chief executive officer of the academy, said he hopes the offerings will increase instructional rigor, assist students in transitioning to college, provide a cost savings for parents and help students receive college certification or even a college diploma before leaving high school.
"A goal of NCCA is to have students receive post secondary credits in addition to a high school diploma," Woodard said.
Newton County students take dual enrollment courses at the GPC and GPTC campuses or at the academy, which is located at Alcovy High School until the permanent building on Ram Drive is completed later this month.
The opening of the new building will allow for more students to enroll at the academy and more space to hold more classes.
The school, which is located adjacent to Newton High School, is being built for 800 students.
About 250 students are enrolled in the program. Next school year, about 500 students are expected to be enrolled and about 700 are projected for the following school year.
Most students in the program will take dual enrollment classes during the day at NCCA, Woodard said.
Dual Enrollment programs offered next school year at the academy through GPC include English, math, political science and engineering, as well as distance learning programs.
"Students will still be able to take (dual enrollment) classes at any GPC campus and through distance learning, as they currently do, but since students will travel to NCCA, we aim to offer classes that make sense for them since they will already be at the career academy," said Jeff Meadors, dual enrollment coordinator for GPC and a member of the Newton County Board of Education. "This is a way to offer increased access to GPC programs of study."
Programs available through GPTC include government and public safety in fire, law and emergency services; transportation and automotive services; cosmetology and health care.
"The classes will be completely run by the college, taught by college instructors and using college curriculum and texts," said Brian Archer, high school initiatives coordinator at GPTC. "These students will be college students, even though they are still in high school."
Students must apply to the dual enrollment program through the college of their choice. The deadline to apply at GPC is July 1 and at GPTC is March 31; additional testing may be required.
Classes are funded through the Hope Grant at GPTC. Students are limited to one class per student each year. Classes are funded through the Hope Scholarship at GPC, which does not limit the number of classes.
More information about the academy is available by visiting www.newtoncareeracademy.org or talking to high school counselors.