Joint Enrollment soars at GHC
Paulding County High School’s top three seniors attend GHC
Paulding County High School’s three top ranked students decided to take full advantage of earning college credit while still in high school by enrolling in Georgia Highlands College this fall. The ACCEL program allows eligible juniors and seniors to receive high school and college credit simultaneously for courses completed successfully at a University System of Georgia institution.
Cherelle Payne, Shyla Crenshaw and Madison Hayes, listed in order of rank, all echoed similar praise for the program and for GHC.
Payne said, “I think my favorite thing about being a senior is the joint enrollment classes that I am taking because it is something different and it’s pushing me to grow up and mature.
“My high school is a good school but I enjoy the extra challenge of GHC. College is so much better; we are always learning. There is always something new and I thrive off that. I like joint enrollment because it’s allowing me to be the student that I know I am capable of being and making me work harder and realize just how far I can go.”
The Georgia Student Finance Commission and Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship pay tuition for ACCEL classes; students are responsible for fees and books. Currently, fees for one to five college credit hours are $247.
Crenshaw enrolled in English, Spanish, political science and college algebra at GHC for the fall semester.
“I wish I had gotten involved with the joint enrollment program last year simply
because I am not a good test taker so the AP [advanced placement] exams were not optimal for me. Another reason is the classes are usually smaller than the ones at my school so I am not intimated to ask questions. Also, you also don’t have the high school dynamics so you can focus on your education more.”
At GHC the joint enrollment program has skyrocketed. Since fall 2011 the number of students accepted into the program has more than doubled from 73 to 157.
Hayes, who hopes to attend Armstrong Atlantic State University after high school graduation, said, “There is more responsibility. I take honors and AP classes at high school so I am used to taking a little bit harder classes, but this is teaching me to make time and take responsibility for my schoolwork and grades. This is preparing me so much for when I go to college and for later. I have to make sure I schedule things like online quizzes and homework at the right time so this is giving me a reality check for time management.”
Payne accessed several factors when choosing the college to take ACCEL classes: quality of classes, convenient location and ability to transfer classes. GHC met all the criteria.
“I heard that the credits transfer to other schools in the university system and GHC is a really good school. It is such a great place to get started; save your money, get your credits and then move somewhere else and your full credits will follow you. Joint enrollment is best because I know that the hard work I am doing now will still count when I go off to college.”
The PCHS trio plans to pursue careers in the medical field. Payne hopes to go to medical school, while Crenshaw wants to augment her healthcare career choice with Spanish. Hayes looks forward to working as a physical therapist.