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July 2, 2015
While college affordability continues to get headlines across the country, families in Piedmont Technical College’s service area have been taking advantage of one of the best deals in higher education for more than 10 years.
PTC’s dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to earn college credit while still in high school, has grown significantly over the last several years. In the fall 2014 semester alone, the program enrolled 700 high school students in 20 locations throughout the seven-county area that PTC serves.
“We are proud to work with the school districts in our region who have seen the benefits of the dual enrollment program,” said Amanda Richardson, PTC dual enrollment director.
Richardson said that dual enrollment is a great deal for families because the credit students earn is transferable. This means a big cost savings for families.
“Some of our students enroll at Piedmont Tech after they graduate, but many dual enrollment students take the credit they’ve earned and transfer to four-year colleges and universities,” said Richardson.
Through the dual enrollment program, students at Clinton High School have the opportunity to earn a basic welding certificate. The program was implemented for the 2012-13 school year and 11 students completed the certificate for the pilot year. In 2013-14, 16 students completed the program and 13 students earned the certificate in 2014-15.
“The certificate gives the students so many more opportunities once they graduate,” said Richardson. “They can go out now and get a job, they can come to Piedmont Tech and get a diploma or they can apply the courses they have completed toward another degree.”
In addition to the dual enrollment program, Piedmont Technical College has also partnered with two school districts to form a Middle College. Students at Ninety Six High School and McCormick High School have the option to become college graduates while still in high school.
The Middle College is a set curriculum designed by Piedmont Tech and the school district tailored for the high school students and their specific needs. The students begin classes in their junior year and earn not only high school credit, but college credits toward their degree. If they follow the curriculum, they earn at least 48 credit hours toward an associate degree. By taking additional courses over the summer, the Middle College students have the opportunity to earn a full associate degree while still in high school.
In 2014, the first group of Middle College students - five students from Ninety Six and five from McCormick – completed the program. In 2015, 10 students from McCormick High School earned their associate degree and two students from Ninety Six High School completed the program, including Hannah Madden who was recognized as a County Award Winner, a designation given to graduates who maintained the highest grade point average for their county.
For more information or for inquiries about your school’s participation in the dual enrollment program or Middle College program, contact your school’s guidance office. For more information, contact the dual enrollment office at (864) 941-8352 or go to www.ptc.edu/dualenrollment.
Photo Caption: Thirteen students at Clinton High School recently completed the Piedmont Technical College basic welding certificate program. The dual enrollment program was implemented as part of a partnership between PTC and Laurens District 56. Pictured were, front from left: instructor Tony Amos, Zach Polson, Austin DeLaRosa, Tyler Griffin, Collin Sparkman and instructor Scott Eustace. Back, from left: Laurens District 56 superintendent Dr. David O’Shields, Tony Gray, DJ Kinard, Justin Baker, Michelle Gambrell, Ahmod Grant, welding coordinator Jim Fleming and interim dean of engineering and industrial technology David Kibler. Not pictured are Shabazz Blakely, TiQuavious Bluford, Aaron Hughes and Eric Prince, Jr.