[caption id="attachment_3603" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="From left to right: Jonathan Ensley, Anna Vernon, Staci Cook, Aisha Bloxson."]
High school students Staci Cook (Veritas Classical School and New Creation Christian Academy), Jonathan Ensley (home schooled, Forest Park Street School), Anna Vernon (home schooled, New Creation Christian Academy school), and Aisha Bloxson all dual enroll at the Academy for Advanced Studies in McDonough, which is where students from Henry County go take dual enrollment classes from Clayton State University.
Vernon is now a full time student at Clayton State.
“I attended New Creation Christian Academy, and was partly homeschooled, through high school, until my senior year, when I began the dual enrollment program,” she says. I enrolled in two courses, for six credit hours, last semester and I am participating in four courses, or 12 credit hours, this semester. I am no longer attending high school.
“Lately have I been challenged by the difference in the way college courses are set up in comparison to high school classes. In one of my courses, Political Science, I have only had two tests and a term paper. My final exam will count for 50 percent of my grade! I cruised through high school as an all-A student, and was used to receiving good grades with little effort. I have definitely had to step up my game, manage my time, and make sacrifices in my schedule in order to be prepared for my Clayton State classes.”
Despite the challenge, the experience has been rewarding for Vernon.
“The most rewarding aspect of the dual enrollment program, in my opinion, is the amount of time being saved,” she says. “I do not share in the complaints of many of my senior friends who feel that their time is being wasted as they wait and wait for graduation to come so they can stop turning in busywork homework assignments and sitting through long, pointless class periods. I have begun college and finished high school all in the same year! I see it as an incredibly efficient use of my time.”
“I have really benefited from the Dual Enrollment program at Clayton State University,” Ensley says. “I think it is great to be able to go ahead and start building college credit. The biggest challenge for me has probably been the extra study time required for college classes, but I have pretty much gotten used to that now.”
“Taking dual enrollment classes this year prepared me for my college experience,” Cook says. “It has provided a good transition into college. As I have attended university-model schools during high school, the schedule and setting were similar for me.”