BARNESVILLE - In an accelerated three-year format, Hampton High School senior Kaylie Hatfield is on track to earn her high school diploma in addition to an Associate of Arts degree from Gordon State College this spring.

Hatfield is one of nearly 500 dual enrollment students Gordon currently serves this spring semester, which includes courses at the McDonough Center, Griffin College and Career Academy and three private schools.

Hatfield completed a majority of her coursework online and attended a few classes in Barnesville and at Gordon’s site in McDonough.

"Although dual enrollment, especially full time, was challenging at times, it has been an awesome opportunity," Hatfield said. "It not only allowed me to finish my associate's degree while still in high school, but it also saved quite a bit of money through the state-covered tuition and the college loaned books."

Hatfield plans to continue at Gordon this fall pursuing her bachelor’s in biology and has aspirations for medical school after her undergraduate work is complete.

“After Gordon, I plan on attending medical school and working with babies as a neonatologist,” Hatfield added.

For students wishing to get a jump start like Hatfield did through the state-funded dual enrollment program, they must be enrolled in and eligible participating public, private or home-study high school and enroll in a participating postsecondary institution.

Changes to the program are anticipated this 2020-2021 academic year, which is currently pending passage still requiring the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp. This legislation, House Bill 444, changes approved course subject areas to 20 total, eligibility by grade level (high school junior or senior plus exceptions for sophomores with specific scenarios) and implements a funding cap of 30 credit hours. Under the revisions, students who desire to take more courses will be responsible for the cost of the additional courses after completing 30 credit hours. Required course materials will still be provided at no cost to the student by the participating postsecondary institution.

Students interested in applying as a dual enrollment student are required to submit an admission application and official high school transcript to be considered for acceptance. The admission application, formerly a paper format, is now completely online and students can submit without being charged an application fee.

Other temporary changes are in place for dual enrollment admission in light of the College Board and ACT suspending the availability of testing during the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Now prospective students applying for admission for Summer 2020 semester or Fall 2020 semester will not be required to submit ACT, SAT or Accuplacer scores. Students will still be required to have a 3.0 academic GPA and must be on track for completion of their required high-school courses to be eligible for dual enrollment admission.

Ensuring a seamless process for dual enrollment students, Gordon State College Dual Enrollment Coordinator Cindy Jacobs works with high school counselors, students and parents along with Gordon’s McDonough Center Program Administrator Cristy McAbee.

Dual enrollment allows flexibility. Students can enroll on a part-time or full-time status, taking one or a maximum of 15 credit hours per semester. Courses are offered in traditional format or through online instruction with options for day or evening classes, allowing student to determine a preferred schedule with the option to continue involvement in high-school activities and/or maintain a job.

Due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 29, Gordon State College moved all of its classes online for the remainder of the spring semester, including dual enrollment courses. Gordon continues to operate in a limited capacity on campus with the majority of faculty and staff working remotely off-campus. Admissions staff will continue to process applications.

For more information, email cynthinaj@gordonstate.edu or visit the Georgia Futures page for Dual Enrollment:

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