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Johns Creek High School student sings praises of dual enrollment


Bharat Sanders says path beats taking AP courses


March 20, 2013


JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Bharat Sanders will receive his associate's degree in mathematics from Perimeter College May 3. Three weeks later, he will receive his high school diploma from Johns Creek High School. That is the power of dual enrollment, Sanders says.

Sanders, 17, claims the dual enrollment program is superior to taking Advanced Placement courses in high school because AP credits are not always accepted by a student's college of choice. Dual enrollment has two paths. One lets the student earn real college credits while in high school. It's called Accel.

The other program, Move On When Ready, lets the student take courses at college (and the state pays the tuition) while earning the high school credits for that diploma. The Move On program is the path Sanders has taken. He will attend Georgia Tech next semester, most likely as a junior.

"My dad estimated the family saved about $140,000 by getting into the Move On program," Sanders said. "So it has been a great investment."

Sanders has been attending Georgia Perimeter College, which currently has more than 900 students on dual enrollment program.

Sanders has been such a proponent and spokesman for the dual enrollment programs, he has even conducted a seminar at Spruill Oaks Library in Johns Creek to talk to students about the advantages of dual enrollment.

Bharat_Sanders
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Bharat Sanders says dual enrollment has given him time to do the things he wants to do, such as give children piano lessons. (click for larger version)
"I think dual enrollment is the wave of the future because the kids get to take college classes from college professors that are more qualified," he said. "And you get the benefits of being in a college environment.

"I've learned so many life skills such as time management and a better work ethic because college teachers expect you to be responsible for your own work," Sanders said.

He also likes the college semester system which lets him take the equivalent of two AP courses in the time he would have to take one if he were still in high school.

"So you get double the amount of college credit," he said.

Sanders said he has not missed the social life at high school because he has been able to enjoy the events and the friends he has made on the Perimeter campus. There are free athletic events, plays, concerts and a circle of friends who share the same interests.

"You are still allowed to participate in the sports and other events at your high school, but I didn't miss that. I found social life in college to be so much better because I have been able to learn how to interact with people outside my own age group, and there are tons of clubs and things you can join," he said.

"I've just learned to grow a bit more in that way."

Sanders was even the group leader of one of his classes when most of the other students were "about 20 years older, and some had kids."

He acknowledges dual enrollment is not for every student, but for those students who are taking AP classes, he says dual enrollment is a better way to go.

Sanders says the program doesn't get much play from counselors at the high schools yet. He heard about it from his neighbor, Cynthia Kozak.

"Her daughter was doing a couple of classes at Perimeter. And she helped me a lot to get started in the program and advised me. She actually has done more for me than my counselor at school," he said. "She's been a godsend to me."

At the seminar, he said he just wanted to make sure other students understood the program and that there was an alternative to staying up until 2 a.m. working on AP projects.

He said he has not only gotten a lot out of dual enrollment, he has won awards and been recognized for his achievements while at Perimeter. He still hangs with old friends at Johns Creek High, but he has also found time to the things he wants to do.

He now gives piano lessons to children on the instrument he loves to play. He has also gotten an internship with a "neuro-feedback" center in Atlanta that will give him experience in his chosen field. He plans to major in biomedical engineering and go on to medical school to be a neurologist.

"Just getting ahead on my career and my experience has been the big thing. With APs, I would never have had that time. And having so much experience on my resume means a lot on my college application as well," he said.

Sanders says he wants anyone with questions about the program to feel free to email him because the schools are asking students to enroll in March. He is at virtuosobharat@bellsouth.net.

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Tags: Education News & School Sports

  1. report print email
    Bharat Sanders on Dual Enrollment
    March 21, 2013 | 12:13 PM

    I workrf on a project with Bharat in our Honors Economics course while at Georgia Perimeter - though there was a 38-year age difference, lol! I found him to be a warm, caring and upbeat classmate and a brilliant student. I am very proud of him and wish him the brightest of futures.

    Kathy

    Kathy
    Roswell
  2. report print email
    Students in DE must be VERY careful
    March 22, 2013 | 09:22 AM

    As a former DE student, parents should be advised to be heavily involved in the course choices students make and aware of the DE rules. In my case, while DE provided me with a number of state-paid courses, only 25% of the courses went towards the path of a degree. My parents were told that I could not take any college course that would overlap with a course offered in high school. Upon moving on to a state four-year university, I was forced by the school to drop out as I had enough credits to be a junior but not enough courses to fit into any upper division major degree program. I ended up working full time and finishing my degree 12 years later.

    Ryan
    Johns Creek
  3. report print email
    Reply to Ryan from Johns Creek
    March 22, 2013 | 06:13 PM

    Dear Ryan,

    I appreciate your sharing your concerns about the Dual Enrollment Program. Though your experience may have been negative, I have evidence to suggest that the DE program has improved greatly since the time you were enrolled.

    Over 900 students are enrolled in the DE program at Georgia Perimter College (GPC) alone, and over 50 colleges and universities in Georgia offer this program. A statistic from a recent GPC study shows that 90% of Dual Enrollment Alumni reported that 100% of their credits transferred to their 4-year university. Of the 10% that didn't transfer, it was because these students either didn't go to 4-year college at all, or they went out of state. GPC has a Transfer Admissions Guarantee program that assures there is a path to make sure that all credits will transfer to any public university in GA. Out of State transfers are not guaranteed, but as long as the student is responsible and takes core curriculum, it is highly probable that all classes will transfer.

    I personally have been accepted to Georgia Tech and my credits will transfer. Though I will be considered a junior, this will be a non-issue at Tech. This is because there is an overwhelming amount of students in the present day that are entering 4-year college with numerous college credits already (through AP, IB, or even DE). Thus, colleges have improved their systems over the years and have inherent guidelines and processes for accepting and advising these students.

    As for course overlap, I am not sure what happened in your case, but many of my courses have overlapped in HS and DE and I have been able to use college courses to satisfy my HS requirements with no issues.

    I am greatly sorry for your negative experience with DE, but I want to assure potential students that many things have improved since your experience, and the DE process has become much more streamlined, and not to mention more common. If anybody has any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at virtuosobharat@bellsouth.net .

    Love, Music, and Laughter,
    Bharat Sanders

    Bharat Sanders
    Johns Creek, GA
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