Jasper Resident Got Head Start on College with Dual Enrollment Program
5/11/2017 ~ by Jessica Lindley, Media Relations - At a time when a majority of high school students are dual enrolling in college courses, Jasper resident Kym Elrod turned to Chattahoochee Technical College’s Move On When Ready (MOWR) program in 2014 to get a head start on a college education.
Georgia’s Move On When Ready dual enrollment program gives qualified high school students the ability to maximize their education and career training by taking courses that earn college and high school credit simultaneously. Under MOWR, students may take academic core courses or occupational and career courses that can help jump start a career.
Chattahoochee Technical College currently has 1,115 students enrolled in the MOWR program for the Spring 2017 Semester. Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties produce the most MOWR students, with Pickens and Bartow counties following closely behind. For the Spring Semester, 37 MOWR students were from Pickens County.
Like most students who dual enroll, Elrod registered for Chattahoochee Technical College’s MOWR program in order to get a step ahead. With the Appalachian Campus located in her hometown of Jasper, Elrod said CTC was the most convenient and cost efficient option. As a MOWR student, Elrod was able to complete all of her general education classes, and after graduating from Pickens High School in 2015, she continued courses in Healthcare Science. The now 20-year-old is preparing to transfer to the University of North Georgia in the fall, where she will start the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
“Choosing to go to CTC my first two years of college has been the best decision thus far in my life,” she said. “The faculty and staff at CTC are always so caring and helpful. It was just what I needed to start my college career. I will forever recommend students to start their college journey at CTC.”
Elrod said receiving an education from Chattahoochee Tech has been a great benefit, but admitted that as a teenager, she was very timid to start college while still in high school, as she mistakenly thought 17 was too young to juggle both high school and college courses. However, Elrod said she quickly learned that age had nothing to do with being a successful MOWR student — it had everything to do with determination and having a will to succeed.
“My advice is to just have confidence and believe in yourself,” she said. “If you believe in yourself and you put in the time and effort it takes, anyone can do it. Also, never be afraid to ask for help. I loved having more one-on-one interactions with my teachers and being in smaller class sizes than I would have been in if I started at a four-year college.”
High school students who are attending a participating Georgia high school or an approved home study program may qualify to take college level courses under the MOWR program. The MOWR program at Chattahoochee Tech offers smaller class sizes, free tuition and books, as well as courses in the summer, fall and spring terms. Qualified instructors also provide a rewarding experience for all students, and the college has Academic Success Centers on all campuses (except the Austell Campus), with tutoring available in English, math, reading and more.
“I loved all of my instructors,” Elrod said. “There was not one instructor I had that I have a complaint about. The instructors at CTC truly care about their students and want them to succeed. I loved how they all made an effort to get to personally learn each student’s name and learn about our future goals in order to help us achieve them.”
Keith Brooks, who was Elrod’s English instructor at the Appalachian Campus said the former MOWR student was focused and realized the value — both monetarily and educationally — of what the MOWR classes could do for her in her educational pursuits.
“Kym had a drive to be successful in these classes, and that drive transfers over to her career goals and life,” he said.
CTC instructor Daniel Bell, who serves on the Pickens County Board of Education, shared a similar sentiment.
“It is great to hear the positive experiences that our PHS Move On When Ready students have at Chattahoochee Tech. I look forward to seeing the great things that Kym will be able to accomplish in the future,” he said.
Elrod, who currently is employed as a sales associate at Jasper Drug Store, has one bit of advice for high school students considering dual enrollment: Never procrastinate.
“Along with not procrastinating, just always remember to take one thing at a time,” she said. “Try not to get bogged down with everything at once and just take it one step at a time. College has been some of the most stressful years of my life, but I know it will all be worth it when I get my degree and I am able to help others one day.”
For more information about the MOWR program, visit ChattahoocheeTech.edu.