WGTC Coweta Campus

Local students on the fast track

by Clay Neely

West Georgia Technical College’s new stand-alone Coweta campus has completed its first year and is continuing to impact higher education and dual enrollment opportunities.

In its first semester, the fall of 2013, the new campus off Turkey Creek Road south of Newnan had more than 900 students enrolled, and by spring semester there were more than a thousand students.

Speaking to the Coweta County Development Authority Thursday, Peter Ludlow, associate provost for WGTC’s new stand-alone Coweta campus, highlighted the variety of programs designed to assist and accelerate educational opportunities for Coweta area students.

The Carrollton-based WGTC also continues to offer courses at the Coweta County School System’s charter career academy – Central Educational Center

Coweta’s high school students are currently offered a variety of multiple credit programs designed to give them a leg up in a post-secondary educational environment.

Ludlow attributes the rising enrollment at the Coweta campus and its success to the college’s ability to “offer the public a quality product for a quality price.”

“Parents are finally realizing that their teenage son or daughter can take college classes,” said Ludlow of the dual-enrollment options. “This allows them to get through school sooner and enter the workforce earlier with little to no debt.”

The ACCEL program allows high school students to take core courses in areas of English, mathematics, social science, life science and physical science that will count toward credit in both high school and college. Students in this program can be full-time or part-time and still participate in other classes and activities in their high school.

“The Move on When Ready (MOWR) program is tailor made for high-speed, high school students so they can go to college full-time while still in high school and can have a year or more of college credit by the time they graduate,” Ludlow said. “It just doesn’t get much better than that.”

Ludlow also noted that the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents have an agreement that 27 core courses that are provided will transfer between any technical college or university.

“Of course, we have programs where they can get an associate degree and then transfer to a four-year institution,” Ludlow said.

With 49 percent of WGTC students receiving Pell grants and 55 percent receiving the HOPE grant, Ludlow clarified that for those students who are currently enrolled in dual enrollment programs, the courses taken on the HOPE scholarship aren’t diminished from courses that would be taken once enrolled in a college or university.

Fees and books that are not covered by the HOPE scholarship are covered by Coweta County, which provides the remainder of tuition and fees for the students.

Ludlow also addressed another example of the Coweta community coming together to benefit the fields of education, business and health.

The Central Educational Center, WGTC and the Coweta Samaritan Clinic will all be working together in order to provide free dental care to Coweta Samaritan Clinic patients.

A total of 14 dentists have volunteered to participate in the program.

“We’re excited about this,” Ludlow said. “They will use our dental lab to do work on those who have a need for that service.”

“With those dentists there, it’s also going to give our students what every employer needs – an opportunity to take a look at who they might hire,” Ludlow said. “It’s a great program with minimal costs.”

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