Lanier Technical College and the Dawson County Board of Education kicked off another school year by signing an agreement to continue the dual enrollment program they share.
The effort allows students to takes courses from a state public or private college while still enrolled in high school and receive credit at both levels.
"We've worked so closely with Lanier Tech through the years and it's been a great relationship," said Dawson County Superintendent Keith Porter.
"It's been very beneficial to our students and the program continues to grow.
"We're very excited to continue working with [Lanier Tech President] Dr. Ray Perren and we appreciate the partnership."
According to Jeff Fitzpatrick, high school coordinator for Lanier Technical College, it was Perren who suggested the agreement be signed at the school board meeting Monday night instead of the college campus.
"Each fall, we sign our agreement, but this year, Dr. Perren suggested we attend a board meeting and get it approved formally [by the board]," Fitzpatrick said.
Perren said the college "look[ed] forward to working" with Dawson County "for years to come."
"We see this as a true win-win-win; a win for the school district, it's a win for the college, and most importantly, it's a win for the students," Perren said.
"Statewide, 98 percent of students involved in dual enrollment go on to graduate from high school. That's a tremendous track record across the state. We appreciate the strong community support that Dawson County shows to Lanier Technical College."
Porter praised the program's success, citing its record of getting students much-needed jobs.
"When a student finishes their program at Lanier Tech, they have a 98.6 percent job referral rate for the work force, which enables students to achieve working status very quickly upon completing their programs," he said. "We also see this as a win-win-win, as well."
According to the school system, dual enrollment provides an opportunity for it to expand curriculum at no extra cost and offers high school students an opportunity to jump-start their college education and career skills.
Also during the meeting, Perren announced that Lanier Tech would exempt the portion of the tuition and fees that are not covered by the HOPE grant.
This exemption is designed to help to remove any financial barriers that eligible students may have. Those interested in dual enrollment should see their guidance counselors for more details, or they can visit www.laniertech.edu/dualenroll.
For more information about the college, call (770) 531-6300 visit www.laniertech.edu.