MGTC ACCEL Program Benefits Houston County High School Student
Warner Robins - For recent Houston County High School graduate Meagan Young, college will go by a little faster for her than others. After graduating from high school in May, Meagan will head off to Middle Georgia College in Cochran with 12 degree-level credits thanks to her work at Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins in the ACCEL program.
ACCEL offers high school students the opportunity to take degree-level courses and earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Degree-level courses taken at MGTC, either on campus or online, transfer to University System colleges and universities throughout the state. Earlier in 2012, the University System's Board of Regents voted to expand the number of accepted courses from 10 to 27. This allows students a broader variety of choices to take advantage of prior to high school graduation and enrolling in a four-year institution.
For Meagan, she began with MGTC in the dual enrollment program in Fall 2011. Originally, she chose to pursue Cosmetology for high school and technical credit, but found that it was not the right fit for her. In Spring, she changed over to the ACCEL program, which differs slightly from HOPE dual enrollment programs like Cosmetology. Both programs allow you to gain college and high school credit simultaneously while in high school. However, dual enrollment offers students technical credit in programs such as Automotive, Cosmetology, and Computer Information Systems, and is funded by the HOPE Grant program. HOPE Grant is based on Georgia residency, so most high school students can qualify. ACCEL is geared toward students who want to earn degree-level credit while in high school; many of these students transfer to university system of Georgia colleges to pursue 2 or 4-year degrees.
Meagan credits her high school counselor, Melissa Jones, with encouraging her to take advantage of this program. ACCEL at MGTC makes it convenient for both high school students and parents in preparing for post-secondary education. The ACCEL program pays full tuition for students. This academic year, ACCEL will no longer cover mandatory fees or offer a book allowance, but MGTC will waive fees for high school students. The only out-of-pocket expense for students and parents is the cost of textbooks. Additionally, the credit hours taken under ACCEL do not count in the student's lifetime HOPE hours cap.
Once at Middle Georgia College, Meagan plans to pursue a psychology degree. She has a 4.0 GPA and 12 credit hours from MGTC that will count for her core courses at MGC. During Spring Semester, Houston County High School allowed Meagan 2 periods out of the day per ACCEL class. Students can choose to take up to 12 credit hours per semester during their time in the ACCEL program. She is currently enrolled at MGTC for Summer Semester taking additional degree-level classes to get a jump-start on her college education.
After finishing her two-year degree at MGC, Meagan hopes to transfer to Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah to complete her bachelor's degree. She is the daughter of Joan Young and Bruce and Yolanda Young and has four siblings.
For more information on the ACCEL program at MGTC, contact Kim Gunn, High School Initiatives coordinator, at 478-988-6800, ext. 5035. Fall semester at MGTC begins August 20. Students can apply now. Visit www.middlegatech.edu or find MGTC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiddleGeorgiaTech.
Kim Gunn and Meagan Young