By: Julia Sanders
Many Newnan High School students have had the opportunity to take college classes at the University of West Georgia. This has been possible because of the dual enrollment program, which is now known as the “Move On When Ready Program”.
Many high school students have decided to take dual enrollment classes to get college credits. At the University of West Georgia Newnan Campus, there have been 105 dual enrolled students, just for the fall semester. There are 23 classes available for dual enrolled students this fall semester, and the class size ranges from around 25 to 30 students, although some classes can be as large as 40 to 60 students.
Christine Wilson, NHS senior, commented, “My West Georgia experience has been wonderful. The professors are very helpful and nice! They are very welcoming and the new campus is gorgeous! There are very unique things about the campus.”
Wilson is taking many classes at the University of West Georgia, even though she is still in high school.
“I decided to do dual enrollment because I’m majoring in pre-med, and I want to reduce some of my eight years of college I have,” Christine Wilson said.
“Mackenzie Sibley, NHS senior, stated that she is taking dual enrollment classes “so (she) can get college credit”. She is taking two of her classes at the University of West Georgia, while still taking some classes at NHS.
In the dual enrollment program, students get college and high school credit for the classes they take at the University of West Georgia. The dual enrollment program allows students to prepare for the college classes, to get their core colleges classes out of the way and to be able to afford to take more college classes.
The University of West Georgia has had a Newnan campus ever since 1988. It first met in rooms of Newnan High School in the evenings. Later, in 1990, the Georgia Power Company shared its building with the University of West Georgia.
Coweta County bought the building from the Georgia Power Company in 1998, and gave it to the University of West Georgia. This has been where the University of West Georgia’s Newnan campus has been located, until the college moved its campus to the old Newnan Hospital in May 2015.
The planning of the move for West Georgia began in December of 2010 and took three years to plan the move to the Newnan Hospital. The renovation of the Newnan Hospital took about eighteen months.
Mrs. Cathy Wright, Director of the University of West Georgia Newnan Center, said, “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to get ahead- to get some basic college core classes completed while still in high school- and for free.”
When asked what she likes about working at the Newnan West Georgia campus, Mrs. Cathy Wright commented, “I am thrilled to be working in this hospital building where I was born, where I worked as a teenager, and where my children were born. I love the history here and the downtown location.”
Dr. Kelli Sowerbrower, NHS Literacy Coordinator and English Instructor at the University of West Georgia, exclaimed that she loved the dual enrollment program because “The opportunities that are there for students to start their college careers are fabulous! Instead of taking classes that they may not be interested in, they are taking classes that will advance them in their academics.”
Dr. Lisa Gezon, UWG Professor and Chair of Anthropology Department, teaches Introduction to Anthropology and Anthropology 1102 at the Newnan West Georgia Campus.
Dr. Gezon promotes the dual enrollment program because “the dual enrollment program provides opportunities not only for students, but also for professors who benefit from the positive involvement of selected high school students.”
“The students who choose to dual enroll tend to be those who are bright, motivated, and willing to work. As long as this trend continues, the dual enrollment program will be a success,” Dr. Gezon said.