Macon, Ga. – Few parents and their teenage children are aware of the educational path available to high school students that can have them earn a high school diploma by only attending college in what would be their junior and senior years. In May, Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) prepares to see it first graduate of this program, just as the distinctive route is starting to take shape.
Georgia Senate Bill 2 (SB2), known as the High School Postsecondary Graduation Option (HSPGO), offers high school students a diploma after completing required secondary courses and tests, in addition to specific college credential programs. At CGTC, these students can complete an associate degree, diploma program or two technical certificates of credit in specific career fields, as core courses provide them credit toward their secondary diploma.
Fields such as air conditioning technology, welding, computer programming and network technician are available.
The program sounds like dual enrollment, however, there is a singular, radical difference; the student, in this case Adam Brooks, does not actually step foot on the high school as he finished high school requirements prior to this year. Courses taken at the College apply as credit for both, and his air conditioning technology courses fulfill the credential requirement.
Brooks, 18, will graduate from Jones County High School later in May, having only attended early in his high school career. His peers in Dual Enrollment at CGTC typically take a class or two at a CGTC campus, center, or online, and have a regular schedule of attendance at their high school.
“It is completely different than high school,” Brooks said. “You sort of have to grow up quicker.”
Brooks spends most of his learning time surrounded by peers almost twice his age. He said he never saw this path as an escape from the routine and rigmarole of high school, but rather as a quick route to get into the workforce. He felt as though he had what it took to pursue this route because he was teachable, young and ambitious, all agreed to by his air conditioning instructor, Cary Hogg.
“Some high school students have some irresponsibility, maybe at that age, they might not want to be as committed,” Hogg said. “On the other hand, Adam has come here and is separating himself from his peers.
“I wish some (classmates) would come here,” he said of CGTC. “I finished and now I have a trade and will get a diploma and a credential to go into the workforce.”
Brooks plans to apply for work with local companies and possibly enroll in some night classes through CGTC for Industrial Systems. A real draw for this program is the fact that it does not cut into a student’s HOPE hours, meaning Brooks has financial help should he want to pursue further education.
Brooks walked as CGTC’s first-ever SB2 graduate at the College’s Commencement Ceremony on May 4, 2018, at the Macon Centreplex.
For more information on dual enrollment opportunities at CGTC contact, Kim Gunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Photo 1] Adam Brooks graduates from CGTC. He is the College’s first-ever High School Postsecondary Option graduate.
[Photo 2] Adam Brooks, CGTC’s first-ever High School Postsecondary Graduation Option graduate works in the Air Conditioning Technology lab on the Macon Campus.