Dual Enrollment Gains Momentum in Evans County
Ogeechee Technical College

Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) has started the second half of the academic year, and is sharing an update on their Evans County initiatives. Ogeechee Tech President, Lori Durden, announced the hiring of Sherrie Collins, a full-time high school coordinator based at Claxton High School, a position made possible by a very generous donation by the Strickland Foundation of Evans County. Collins coordinates campus tours, meets with students and parents, and holds information sessions to help Claxton High and Pinewood students map out their educational paths through Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program. The program allows qualified high school students to jump start their college education and career training by taking free courses that earn high school and college credit at the same time.

Currently there are 44 students from Claxton High School and 19 from Pinewood Christian Academy attending Ogeechee Tech in the Dual Enrollment program. That number has increased in the last year and an even more significant increase is a trend President Durden says she would love to see. “Any qualified student should take part in this amazing program. Not only does it give students an idea of college classwork and campus life, allowing a more seamless transition after graduation, but more importantly, it improves student outcomes and greatly benefits our communities.” Durden says other benefits of the program are reduction in high school dropout rates, improved motivation from students to excel in their classes, a decrease in the cost to parents and students of post-secondary education by reducing the number of years to earn a diploma, certificate, or degree, and an increase in academic opportunities to rural areas.

Dr. Marty Waters, Superintendent of Evans County Schools said, “The Evans County School System has a goal of increasing the number of graduates who are college and career ready. Our partnership with Ogeechee Technical College is critical to meeting that goal.  We are working collaboratively to expand our career pathway offerings on the campus of Claxton High School as well as to provide a shuttle bus to the OTC campus to open as many options as possible for our students. Our target is to have 100% of our seniors graduate with a high school diploma and technical degree/certification or 15 hours of college credit in the next five years.”

Collins says she has noticed an increase in the level of interest in dual enrollment through Ogeechee Tech. She said, “There is a desire from administration to increase offerings of dual enrollment courses to students. It helps to have a representative from OTC in Evans County who is accessible to students, parents and school personnel."

President Durden says planning is underway for the 2018-19 school year, as well. She explained, “At Claxton High School, we are reviewing credentials for an in-house math instructor to teach semester long courses. We also plan to offer an additional English class or classes to meet the state requirements for students. These core math and English courses are the building blocks to most all degrees and are transferable to every technical college and university in Georgia. The more students who enroll and successfully complete these courses, the better the chance that they will continue on to college after high school graduation. This is essential for raising education attainment levels in Evans County. We hope to add additional Evans County high school students on the OTC campus with transportation accommodations, as well.”

Dr. Ryan Foley, Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Ogeechee Tech, said, “I'm very excited about the continued partnerships we have with Evans County Schools and Pinewood Christian Academy. These partners understand the importance of giving their students options to accelerate their college careers and take advantage of dual enrollment funding. It's a win-win partnership for all involved.”

In addition to OTC’s high school initiatives in Evans County, the College operates an Adult Education program on its Hagan campus, where GED and literacy training takes place. The College’s Commercial Truck Driving program is also housed on the Hagan campus, where a driving range is located, in addition to classroom space. One of the College’s newest programs, Heavy Diesel Service Technician, will be located in Hagan as well, once renovations are completed to a structure on the site. “We love Evans County and want to continue to build relationships there, and to help support the educational needs of the area,” said Durden. "We know that an educated workforce is a primary driver of economic development, and we want to continue to be a partner with Evans County to facilitate development.”

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Contact Information

Barry Turner
Vice President for College Advancement
Phone: 912.681.5500 | Email: bturner@ogeecheetech.edu

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