The valedictorians and salutatorians from Troup County School System (TCSS) are each graduating with 30 hours of college credit from taking dual enrollment courses at West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) throughout their high school careers.
The students are Valedictorian, Charlie Lin and Salutatorian, Alex Cho, from Callaway High School; Valedictorian, Ka’Various “KP” Perry, and Salutatorian Chloe Crockett, from LaGrange High School; and Valedictorian Joseph Walker, and Salutatorian, Wesley Bartlett, from Troup County High School.
“The presence of West Georgia Technical College in Troup County is greatly beneficial to our TCSS high school students on many levels,” TCSS Superintendent Dr. Brian Shumate said. “This year, the valedictorians and salutatorians at our three base high schools (Callaway, LaGrange, and Troup) participated in dual enrollment courses articulated with WGTC. These courses add to the students’ academic résumés in their pursuit of these prestigious honors at graduation and reduce the costs of college later. We appreciate the opportunities provided to our school system through WGTC.”
To celebrate their accomplishments, WGTC President Dr. Julie Post invited all six students to WGTC’s LaGrange Campus to have lunch and talk about their experience taking dual enrollment courses.
“These incredible students represent the ‘best of the best’ in Troup County, and we are honored to have been a part of their journey,” Post said. “This is hard proof that dual enrollment with technical colleges such as WGTC can yield rewarding experiences, allow students to earn immediate transferrable college credit upon course completion, allow for the flexibility they need to academically achieve the most during high school, save themselves and their families thousands of dollars in future college tuition, and STILL be top in their class.”
WGTC’s dual enrollment program allows high school students to enroll in college courses and earn credit for both high school and college at the same time. Students can take degree level courses that may transfer to colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia and nationwide or choose from a variety of occupational courses in high-demand career fields. WGTC served over 1,700 high school students this year earning them over 17,000 college credits.
All the students started dual enrollment courses at the end of their freshman or sophomore years and agreed that one of the main reasons they chose dual enrollment was flexibility. They were able to take their courses online or in-person and at any time throughout the year, including over the summer, as their schedules allowed, and easily earn college credits.
As a student who strived to be the top of his graduating class while also being a student athlete, LaGrange High School Valedictorian Ka’Various Perry, known as “KP” by his classmates, highly recommends dual enrollment.
“Dual enrollment courses are so much more flexible than AP courses because you can fit them into your schedule, choose when you do the work, and learn at your own pace,” Perry said. “Those classes will be your best friends in high school simply because if you need flexibility, that’s what they offer.”
In addition to doing dual enrollment, all six students took Advanced Placement (AP) courses which are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers in the regular high school setting. At the end of each course, students take AP exams and those who score at the 3, 4 or 5 level may be able to earn college credit.
Wesley Bartlett, the salutatorian for Troup County High School, found that earning college credits through dual enrollment was a better fit for him.
“I am not the best at taking standardized tests,” Bartlett said. “I had an easier time earning credits from my dual enrollment courses because they don’t depend solely on the final exam like AP classes do.”
Charlie, Alex, KP, Chloe, Joseph and Wesley will enter their next phase of education at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Lee University and the University of South Carolina with 30 college credit hours that will possibly save them two full-time semesters of work. Additionally, each of their families will save an average of $10,000 in college tuition.
“The top students rarely get mentioned for their dual enrollment participation, but these kids got it right and we are so proud of them,” Post said. “We are thankful to TCSS for supporting and celebrating all opportunities for all students and for including West Georgia Tech.”
For more information on the dual enrollment program at WGTC, visit www.westgatech.edu/dual-enrollment.
West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers more than 140 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is one of the largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.