Hall County is adding another campus for its high school students, a campus specifically dedicated to helping students get a head start on their higher education.
Preparations for the new Early College at Jones campus are well underway, and information about application to the dual-enrollment campus will be going home to families within the week.
Last September, Hall County School District announced its intention of creating an early college campus, to which students could catch a shuttle from their high school and take college-level courses in Hall County each day.
The early college program, which opens in the fall, is possible through a partnership between the district, University of North Georgia and Lanier Technical College.
Faculty from UNG and Lanier Tech will teach courses at the campus, located at the old Sylvester B. Jones Elementary School property.
Students will be able to take core courses from UNG, including English composition, introduction to psychology, algebra, statistics, U.S. history and more.
Some core courses from Lanier Tech will be offered with certificate programs, such as an animation and game design specialist certificate program, a design and media production specialist certificate program and a medical front office assistant certificate program.
Early College will also give students access to tutoring, career guidance and personalized course planning. Students can take one to four UNG or Lanier Tech courses per semester, and at least one class at their high school campus.
All tuition, textbooks and mandatory fees are covered by Move On When Ready. Additionally, Hall County Schools will provide all participating students with a Chromebook to take to core courses.
Hall Superintendent Will Schofield called the campus “one of the most exciting things I’ve seen go on in the last couple years within the district.”
Rhonda Samples, assistant director of career tech, said she and the team behind early college were meeting with principals and counselors this week.
Application will be due Feb. 5, Samples said.
“Once we get those applications, we’ll move forward with institutional SAT testing or COMPASS testing and then start the process of getting them admitted to Lanier Tech and UNG,” she said.
The campus is a game-changer for those students who previously could not dual-enroll in a local college or university, because they did not have access to a car.
It’s just half a mile from Lanier Charter Career Academy and within a mile of UNG’s Gainesville campus and the currently-adjacent Lanier Tech campus.
Shuttles already run from high schools to LCCA, so transportation will be easily provided.
Samples said the district will have information sessions at all the high schools in late January for students.
Schofield said he was thrilled with the district’s ability to provide this new resource for students.
“I’ll tell you, we are so blessed in this community to have University of North Georgia, Lanier Technical College and Brenau University,” he said. “Any time we pick up the phone and ask them for something in terms of partnering with us on certain things we want to do together, it’s pretty remarkable compared to other places around the state. This is going to be exciting for our kids.”