In the moments leading up to Southern Crescent Technical College’s (SCTC) Spring graduation ceremony, over 200 graduates lined up to prepare for one of the greatest accomplishments of their life. Walking through, the graduates look the same for the most part, wearing the traditional black cap and gown with a 2018 tassel in the yellow, green and blue colors of SCTC.
The only thing differentiating students from one another are the different color cords and stoles draped over some of the graduates’ necks, each representing an accomplishment or affiliation during the student’s time at SCTC. Some wear gold medallions or gold cords to signify them as honor graduates, others wear white and purple cords representing their affiliation with the National Technical Honor Society, and countless others wear a myriad of different color cords to represent their specific club or organization.
But in the mix of all the colors, four students stand out from the others. They wear one of the most coveted colors of cords – turquoise – which represents that these students are receiving their degree or diploma before they have even graduated from high school. These four students, Jacob Bohler, Zachary Bowman, and Halani Broderick, and Tyler Gibson are Dual Enrollment students.
“To be honest, it all seemed to happen really fast,” Broderick said. “One minute I’m taking my first college class and the next minute, I’m walking across the stage with my Associate Degree in Industrial Systems Technology before I even graduated from high school.”
Broderick, a Locust Grove High School student, said that he originally chose to enroll in Southern Crescent Technical College’s Dual Enrollment classes to get a jump start on his college education and to follow in his older brother’s footsteps.
“It just seemed like the logical thing to do. I had watched my older brother take classes through the Dual Enrollment program and realized what an advantage it gave him, so I wanted to do it as well. It just makes sense,” Broderick said. Broderick plans to begin his career in the field of Industrial Systems now that he has received both his high school and post-secondary degrees.
“This is the reason we do what we do, helping our dual enrollment students jump-start their careers while in high school,” High school Coordinator Drew Todd said about these Dual Enrollment students. “We are so proud of all of our 1,002 dual enrollment students, but especially proud of these four students who have gone the extra mile to earn their diploma or degree while obtaining their high school diploma. Hopefully other high school students will take notice and realize that they can do this too.”
The Dual Enrollment program allows high school students to take academic degree level core courses that will transfer to any TCSG or USG college or university, occupational courses, and diploma level core courses. Some students may choose to enroll fully into a degree, diploma or technical certificate of credit program, or they may choose to just take a few courses. All college coursework taken through Dual enrollment will be fully covered through state of Georgia funding, and students will not be required to pay out of pocket for tuition, college fees, or textbooks.
After receiving his high school diploma from Jackson High School on May 25, two weeks after he received his Diploma in Diesel Equipment Technology, Zack Bowman is also eager to begin pursuing his career in his chosen field. In fact, Zack already has an interview scheduled with a local company where he hopes to be able to show off his skills and begin a long and rewarding career.
After accomplishing this feat, Bowman hopes to encourage others to take the same path he did through Dual Enrollment. “I can say that becoming a Dual Enrollment student is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I mean, I was able to attend college for free while I was still in high school.” he said. “As long as someone puts their heart, mind and hard work into something, they can accomplish anything.”
For more information about the Dual Enrollment program at Southern Crescent Technical College, contact Drew Todd at (770) 229-3065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.