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GPC Newton sees spike in dual enrollment students

GPC Newton dual enrollment students Julian Farmer, left, and Austin Warren, right, are among 143 dual enrollment students currently attending the Newton Campus of Georgia Perimeter College. This is the highest number of dual enrollment students the school has ever had, according to school officials. (Staff Photo: Ryan McKenzie)

GPC Newton dual enrollment students Julian Farmer, left, and Austin Warren, right, are among 143 dual enrollment students currently attending the Newton Campus of Georgia Perimeter College. This is the highest number of dual enrollment students the school has ever had, according to school officials. (Staff Photo: Ryan McKenzie)

COVINGTON — Georgia Perimeter College’s Newton Campus has the highest number of dual enrollment students this semester than it has ever had, according to school officials.

With 143 high school students taking college-level courses at GPC Newton, the number of dual enrollment students is up 15.3 percent from the previous school year, said GPC Dual Enrollment Coordinator Jeff Meadors. Last year, GPC Newton had 124 DE students. In total, all of GPC’s five campuses have 1,144 DE students this semester.

Students currently in dual enrollment at GPC Newton come from a variety of surrounding school systems, including Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties. Schools with dual enrollment students at GPC Newton include Eastside High School, Rockdale County High, Salem High, Heritage High, Peachtree Academy and a few other local schools.

GPC Newton Honors Coordinator Salli Vargis said that a significant number of the DE students are currently taking honors courses, and that these students have an advantage once they are ready to transfer to other colleges.

“It is always good to have even one honors course because when they are ready for transfer, these schools know what honors really means in terms of how classes are taught,” said Vargis.

In addition to classroom curriculum, students in dual enrollment get a better understanding than many of their peers in high school about what is involved with enrolling in college, Meadors said. Completing admissions forms, verifying a lawful presence, signing waivers, providing immunization forms and selecting courses for specific credits are all parts of the college enrollment procedure that dual enrollment students must undergo, giving them a hands-on understanding of what to expect once they graduate high school and become full-fledged college students.

Rising juniors and seniors in high school must meet certain qualifications for dual enrollment. According to information from GPC, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in their core classes. They must also have a minimum combined SAT verbal and math score of 970, or an ACT composite score of 20. However, a minimum separate SAT verbal score of 480 and a minimum SAT math score of 440 is acceptable. A separate ACT English score of 20 and math score of 18 is also sufficient for dual enrollment.