High school students earn TCCs through dual enrollment
Eleven Northeast Georgia high school students recently earned Technical Certificates of Credit in Early Childhood Care and Education Basics from Athens Technical College through dual enrollment programs at their schools.
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take college-level courses during the same school terms that they are taking high school classes. The students can earn credit toward their high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.
Nine of the high school students who earned the Early Childhood Care and Education Basics TCC from the college represented the first group to complete a college credential through the Athens Community Career Academy, said Tracie McGhee, who serves as the high school coordinator for Athens Technical College. McGhee manages all dual enrollment programs for the 10-county area served by the college. The college oversees the Athens Community Career Academy for the Clarke County School District.
The dual enrollment program offers several options — including scholarship opportunities — for earning college credit while in high school. The program can be a game-changing opportunity for students to get a head start toward college and the job market, Ms. McGhee said.
“Many students have told me that dual enrollment has changed their lives, and that without it, they would not have been successful at the next collegiate level, because it prepared them for what college is really like,” Ms. McGhee said. “Dual enrollment and the college advisement process we provide help students learn how to be successful and begin the next stage toward a successful future both personally and professionally.”
“Through this program, they can get in the workforce faster with skills and expertise provided by the technical college, which yields a better-trained and professional workforce,” she added.
The 11 high school students who earned their TCCs from Athens Technical College this spring comprised five graduates and six rising juniors. The group consisted of four students from Cedar Shoals High School, five students from Clarke Central High School, and two students from Green County High School. This summer, five of the students will be taking college classes on the Athens Campus.
The group of students who earned their TCCs in Early Childhood Care and Education Basics included Naomi Deal, Miriam Gatica, Monika Mathis, and Stephin Nichols, 2013 graduates of Cedar Shoals; Cherish Gresham, Deanna Howard, Dajah Johnson, Adara Simmons, and Adrienne Wingfield, rising seniors at Clarke Central; and rising senior Roxanne Peña, and 2013 graduate Renee Terrell from Greene County.
In assessing the dual enrollment program, students used their own words to describe what they learned and what the experience of earning a TCC meant to them.
"I learned how to be more professional and not let others interfere with my success,” Adrienne Wingfield wrote. “I also learned how to work effectively with children at the Early Learning Center."
"I learned numerous things, such as how to properly care for a child, how to recognize children who are being neglected and or abused, and most of all, how to appreciate people like Mrs. Elder who actually want you to succeed,” stated Adara Simmons.
Ms. Simmons referred to Reneta Elder, who served as the Early Childhood Care and Education Basics instructor during spring semester. Andrea Lott taught the classes during fall semester.
The students earned the Early Childhood Care and Education Basics TCC by completing and passing three classes over two semesters. The three classes — Introduction to Early Childhood Care and Education; Child Growth and Development; and Health, Safety, and Nutrition — comprise the first three courses needed on the pathway to earn the Early Childhood Care and Education diploma and degree.
More than 20 area high schools offer their students dual enrollment options with Athens Technical College. During fall semester, 227 high school students took college level courses through dual enrollment with the college. There were 213 dually enrolled spring semester.
Photo caption: Clarke Central High School students who earned their Early Childhood Care and Education Basics TCC this spring through dual enrollment with Athens Technical College were: (Pictured left to right with Principal Robbie Hooker) Adrienne Wingfield, Deanna Howard, Cherish Gresham, Dajah Johnson, and Adara Simmons.
See more photos at Athens Technical College Facebook page.