Jeff Meadors: Dual enrollment an asset that shouldn't be ignored

Fall semester at Georgia colleges is six weeks away; it's a good time to examine guidelines and debunk myths for early access to college.

Student participation in dual enrollment boosts the annual achievement scorecard of every high school and district in Georgia. DE classes do not pull from HOPE and do not take FTE dollars away from high schools except in the case of Move on When Ready.

DE students should seek early academic advisement. With Georgia Perimeter College classes taught at Rockdale Career Academy, within 5.2 miles of every high school in Rockdale, and a Newton Campus of GPC within 6 miles of both Eastside and Social Circle high schools, access to transferable college credits comes on a silver platter.

Students making the college leap early need eligible SAT or ACT test scores and a qualifying GPA; these are academic gatekeepers to better ensure success. If students don't currently have eligibility criteria, they may view testing calendars for SAT at www.collegeboard.com or ACT at www.actstudent.org, determine which test suits them, and plan for admission to dual enrollment for January 2014.

Students may start DE mid-year. Public school students may change funding types (DE or MOWR) between but not during semesters.

District schedules don't block access. Regardless of high school scheduling (period, block, or modified block) Georgia legislators have cleared the way for students to participate through a host of House Bills: 149, 186, 326, 400 and 131. HB 131 now requires that high schools give DE courses the same weighted benefits as AP classes.

The duplicate credit dilemma in science and math is tedious and unnecessary, so advisement with a college DE advisor knowledgeable of high school curriculum is paramount. Coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, advanced algebra and pre-calculus are new DOE titles; a qualified college advisor coordinates math so that all math credits may be taken at the college if desired by students.

EOCT courses like U.S. history, American literature, physical science, and economics do not have to be taken on the high school campus.

While college level American literature and U.S. history are divided into Pre-Columbian to Civil War and Civil War to contemporary, DE students pass EOCTs with flying colors. Publicly released copies of EOCTs and answer keys are available for tutorial.

American government, a non-EOCT class but a graduation requirement, may be taken as college political science 1101.

College courses return to the high school as a full Carnegie unit, so students may complete more than 8 high school units in one academic year.

Students admitted as juniors move quickly through DOE graduation requirements of four units of math, four units of English, two units in the same foreign language, four units of science, three units of social studies, etc. and chip away at four-year programs early.

Public school students seeking elective credit may participate in a semester of MOWR to access funding for electives.

Georgia will build a talented workforce when secondary school and college partners join legislators with clear messages toward meaningful outcomes for students.

Jeff Meadors holds two graduate degrees in education from Emory University and has served in elected and appointed positions in education. He may be reached at pjeffreymeadors@gmail.com


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