Georgia’s dual-achievement program, established by Senate Bill 204, offers qualified students between the ages of 16 and 21 a recognized alternate path to high school graduation. Students can choose to earn a high school diploma, two technical certificates of credit, a technical diploma or a college associate degree simultaneously, in a specific career pathway, in order to meet the state’s high school graduation requirements.
Dual achievement serves students who are seeking a different environment than a traditional high school. If you have a student who is unhappy with their current learning environment and has expressed a desire to withdraw, or already has made the decision to withdraw, the dual-achievement program might be a good fit for them. It is ideal for students seeking to complete their high school course requirements while earning college credentials that prepare them for in-demand careers.
In order to be eligible for Georgia’s dual-achievement program, students must withdraw from their high school or home-school program and provide proof of withdrawal, along with an official copy of their high school transcript. It also is necessary for students entering the program already to have completed and earned credit for six of the nine required high school courses (two English, two math, two science, two social studies, one health/physical education). Students also must sign a dual-achievement program waiver.
There is no charge for high school-level coursework in the dual-achievement program, and funding is available through the HOPE Career Grant to cover tuition for college-level coursework. To apply for the HOPE Career Grant, students must complete the Georgia Student Finance Application (GSFAPP). Although there are no fees for students in the program, there might be some costs for tools or lab equipment, depending on the program of study.
Students, parents and school counselors should decide together whether dual achievement is a good fit. Once fit and eligibility are determined, students will apply, provide documentation, be accepted and proceed through an orientation, prior to starting the program. For a list of technical colleges that offer this program, visit www.tcsg.edu/completion2career.
– Michelle Martin is director of dual achievement at Chattahoochee Technical College. Learn more about dual achievement at www.chattahoocheetech.edu/chatt-tech-academy.