Beginning in January, Thomson High School students will have another opportunity to take advantage of dual enrollment through Augusta Technical College.
This past quarter, four students enrolled in the Early Childhood Care and Education program through Augusta Tech at the Thomson/McDuffie Campus. The program allowed students to attend college during the high school day and gain college credit. The course offered this quarter was Introduction to Early Childhood. Next quarter, Human Growth and Development will be offered to the students and will run during the high school second semester, concluding in May.
The program, which is a partnership between Augusta Technical College, Thomson High School and McDuffie County Partners for Success is available to any student who is at least 16 years old, in good standing at the high school and meets the regular admission criteria on the college entrance exam. Funding is available for those that are eligible through the HOPE Grant. Additional expenses, such as book purchases, are funded through McDuffie County Partners for Success.
"The opportunity for students to take a college course during the high school day alone is just a fabulous extra bonus in addition to what Thomson High School already offers," said Julie Langham, Enrollment Manager at Augusta Technical College. "What is even more impressive is that we have wonderful organizations in our county such as McDuffie County Partners for Success who are committed to investing in our high school students to help fund this program."
McDuffie County Partners for Success has supported the CISCO Academy at Thomson High School for the last six years while the Early Childhood Care and Education program is a new addition this academic year.
"The Early Childhood program provides a great foundation for life," said Linda Poston, advisor for the Early Childhood Care and Education program. "It is so rewarding to have an impact on children's lives, their families and the community as a whole."
Mrs. Langham encouraged students to get a head start on their college career.
"We hope that students will continue to be interested in these programs and want to expand their academic opportunities from high school into the world of college," she said.
Students in the Early Childhood program have grown accustomed to college life already.
"I am enrolled in the ECE program because I think we need more people to educate our young children," said student Kiki Lazenby. "I think I will be a very effective teacher after what I have learned at ATC so far."
Ms. Lazenby plans to attend Augusta Tech upon graduation along with fellow classmate Lizzy Smith.
"I enrolled in this program because I want to be a teacher," Ms. Smith said. "I plan to finish my degree at ATC when I graduate high school."
Applications are being accepted now for students interested in starting the ECE program in January 2007. The CISCO Academy will begin in August 2007; however, students are encouraged to apply early. Interested students should contact Augusta Technical College, Enrollment Manager Julie Langham at 706-595-0166 for more information.