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Hall's new early college program draws students who 'didn't know how to get' to college
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Terry Sapp, Hall County’s high schools school improvement specialist, stands outside of Jones Elementary where an entrance for students attending the Early College @ Jones will be placed. Plans for Hall County’s Early College @ Jones are moving quickly.

A number of students are working to pass the SAT in order to attend the Early College @ Jones program next school year, after just three of the 231 applicants had scores that qualified.

More students have since applied and 64 students have now taken the SAT and 23 passed. Others are still working on it because their scores were close to passing.

“Most of them had never even seen that test (SAT),” Michele Hood, Early College @ Jones coordinator, told the Hall County Board of Education on Monday.

The students must meet the requirements for the University of North Georgia or Lanier Technical College, which means taking the SAT or ACT for UNG or Compass for Lanier Tech.

Hood noted the school system wanted to reach “the unrepresented group that didn’t know they could go to college.”

Nearly all who applied, she said, “were not planning on going to college or didn’t know how to get there.”

The Early College, which will start in August, will allow students who qualify to take college courses at the former Jones Elementary School from UNG or Lanier Tech instructors. 

The school system will provide transportation from their high school to Jones — thanks to $77,000 in state grants — and will provide laptops for those who do not have access to the Internet at home.

The students also will have help every week — Tuesday and Thursday for UNG students and Friday for Lanier Tech students — with study habits, writing and how to talk to instructors.

Hood said counselors will be asking daily, “Where do they need help?”

“It’s truly remarkable what’s about to happen for these students,” Hood told the board. 

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