By Johnny Jackson
School officials say enrollment in Clayton State University's Dual Enrollment Program at the Academy for Advanced Studies, in McDonough, is stronger than expected.
The Academy opened this fall as a post-secondary educational opportunity for Henry County residents, from high school dual-enrollment students, to adults pursuing their General Educational Development (GED) diplomas.
The facility currently offers programs from three of the area's post-secondary institutions: Clayton State, Gordon College, and Southern Crescent Technical College (also known as Griffin Technical College).
Clayton State currently offers classes at the Academy through its dual-enrollment program, which allows students to acquire several college-course credits while they are enrolled in high school.
Dozens of Henry County students have, so far, expressed an interest in the program, according to William Hagans, an academic advisor at Clayton State.
Hagans said in a letter to Henry school officials that 53 Henry students have enrolled in Clayton State's dual-enrollment program. The number enrolled at the Academy, he said, is twice the number enrolled in the program at Clayton State's older Peachtree City Center in Peachtree City, which enrolled 25 dual-enrollment students this fall.
Dan Dewolf, principal at the Academy for Advanced Studies, said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the turnout of students.
Dewolf said the program's enrollment was beyond his expectations, which were subdued by a lack of widespread publicity. The program could continue to grow next spring, he added, as Clayton State recruits this fall in Henry County's high schools.
"A key link is really the colleges working with the high schools and the counseling department," Dewolf said. "To me, it's a process that has to evolve. I think it's just getting the public aware that this is going on."
Clayton State's dual-enrollment program currently has no set limit, according to Dewolf.
Those interested in learning more about Clayton State's dual-enrollment program should visit the Clayton State web site.
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