High School Students Complete College Program Before Graduating from High School


January 8, 2014

Valdosta, GA- It is becoming more common to see high school students enrolled in college classes during their junior and senior year. What isn’t as common is to have those same students complete an entire college program or become eligible for national certifications before they are even eligible to graduate from high school. That is exactly what 79 area high school students did in December through Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. 73 high school students from Cook County, Brooks County, Lanier County, Lowndes County, and Atkinson County High School completed the requirements to be eligible to sit for the national nurse aid certification. In addition, six high school students from Echols County completed the criminal justice specialist program through Wiregrass. All of these students are eligible to earn their credential through the college at the same time they graduate from high school. They have completed the required courses to graduate from Wiregrass and will do so in May.

Wiregrass Georgia Tech offers several ways for high school students to start earning college credits beginning as early as their sophomore year of high school. Wiregrass works with area public and private schools as well as home school students on programs that fit the needs and career goals of their students. Students taking college courses while in high school on average have a higher graduation rate and college completion rate.

Students can dual enroll in technical programs through Wiregrass ranging from programs in health care, early childhood care and education to welding. Under dual enrollment programs, high school students qualify for the HOPE Grant which pays for 73% of the tuition. Wiregrass exempts the remaining 27% of tuition and all fees for those students. The only cost to a high school student may be some supplies and books required for the program. HOPE Grant hours used while in high school are forgiven and do not count against the student’s total HOPE cap hours once they enroll full time in college.

Student can also enroll in degree level core courses under the ACCEL program. Through the ACCEL program, 100% of all tuition and fees are paid for again only leaving the books cost in some cases to the student. ACCEL courses taken in high school are transferrable to any University System of Georgia college, many private colleges in Georgia, and all of the technical colleges in Georgia. In addition, new state high school rigor requirements for students graduating from high school in 2015 include ACCEL courses. This means that the ACCEL courses offered by Wiregrass are included in the acceptable courses list for required rigor courses. These courses will be used to determine a student’s eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship.

For information on early college credit programs through Wiregrass, you may contact your student’s high school counselor or Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Director of Recruiting Brooke Jaramillo at 229-293-6163.

Students completing the required courses to sit for the Certified Nursing Assistant Certification include: Cook County High School – Hannah Hayes, Zana Ponce, Hayden Searcy, Nyla Spruill, Kali Taylor, Jordan Weaver, Matthew Woods, Regina Wooten; Brooks County High School – Artheah Adams, Savannah Bledsoe, Kayla Dixon, Jejuan Gosier, Ciara Hamilton, Chloe Harmon, Shay Hernandez, Jasmine Holsendolph, Alicia Horton, Hailey Hulett, Charity Jones, Caprise Noltion, Stephany Ochoa, Alyssa Royal, Veronica Wilkerson, Indira Wisdom; Lanier County High School – Ricki Hardy, Alex Hart, Brittney Lieupo, Harmony Morris, Andrew Patten, Raigene Ponder, McKenzie Royals, Ashley Sheffield, Levi Sirmons, Angel Trucks, Calvin Wright, Yolanda Zuniga; Lowndes High School – Jose Aguillon, Hannah Allison, Latora Brown, Kristin Dumas, Sumer Eason, Hunter Fletcher, Andrea Hopkins, Rebecca Lilly, Jacob McGuffee, Katlyn Moore, Katelyn Parker, Alexis Hancock, Bethany Harpe, Melissa Isaula, Keziah Johnson, Tiashja Johnson, Aliseya Ratliff, Cristina Reyes, Shivam Sadarangani, Savannah Troupe, Brittany Voight, Taylor Vinge; and Atkinson County High School - Myesha Arnold, Leticia Carmona, Areal Davis, Veronica DeLeon, Jaquanda Debro, Liliana Hernandez, Kirstyn James, Brenda Mendoza, Kourtney Mizell, Dasha Morgan, Kassandra Ocampa, Isabel Ortega, Lindsay Payton, Rubi Ramirez, Alondra Sanchez, Yaqueline Sanchez, Marisol Vargaz, Curmesha Williams.

Students completing the required courses for the Criminal Justice Specialist Technical Certificate of Credit include: Echols County High School – Criminal Justice Specialist Students - Cheyenne Anderson, Marisa Segundo, Kimberly Cabrera, Emmalee Bracewell, Travis Smith, Reece Register