Wiregrass celebrates CTAE month and Early College Program

| February 24, 2017

VALDOSTA Saving parents over $2 million in tuition and fees during the fiscal year 2016, Wiregrass Tech’s Move On When Ready Program (MOWR) is making a difference in the lives of area high school students.

Students in the eleven counties Wiregrass serves earned over 12, 000 college credits during the 2015-2016 school year. Director of Recruitment and High School Services Brooke Jaramillo shared, “We are honored to partner with 22 high schools in our service area, along with local home school students to offer MOWR opportunities for their students.  Each of our partners advocates for their students to get college credit while in high school, and we are thankful to work with them to accomplish these goals.”

2016 Fitzgerald High School Graduate and Move On When Ready (MOWR) student at Wiregrass entered the University of Georgia as a junior because he took college credits through Wiregrass while in high school.

Students can enroll in the MOWR program as young as ninth grade.  The college classes through MOWR are free to high school students and do not count against their HOPE scholarship or the HOPE Grant hours. Tuition and textbooks are completely covered through the program plus Wiregrass exempts all students’ fees, which brings a huge saving to parents.  Most degree level core classes taken through this program will transfer to any University System of Georgia or Technical College System of Georgia colleges and universities.  The credits typically also transfer to many colleges/universities outside of Georgia.  Another benefit for students is those in the MOWR program are awarded a 0.5 boost in their HOPE scholarship GPA upon graduation from high school.

The total enrollment in the MOWR program at Wiregrass for the 2015-2016 school year was 1,510 students.  This is a 29.2% increase over the previous year.  One of the students enrolled that year was Chandler Eckler who is now a junior at the University of Georgia as a business major with a minor in accounting.  Eckler graduated from Fitzgerald High School in 2016 where he was Valedictorian. Chandler graduated having earned 32 college credits as a MOWR student at Wiregrass and saved $16,692 in tuition.  “MOWR definitely helped me go to college better prepared, it gave me insight into what it was really going to be like in college,” shared Eckler.

Kendrick Hayes is currently a senior at Highland Christian Academy and a Move On When Ready (MOWR) student at Wiregrass.

Wiregrass’ MOWR program is on target to enroll more than 1800 students this year.  One current student, Kendrick Hayes, is a senior MOWR student at Highland Christian Academy in Valdosta.  He will be attending Paco Hernando State College next year on a basketball scholarship. Kendrick shared, “I wanted to have some college core classes under my belt – these classes transfer so I feel it relieves stress and preparation as you plan for your future.”

The High School Services department at Wiregrass credits area high school administration, counselors, CTAE directors, and teachers for the program increase. To show their appreciation Wiregrass has been honoring the area teachers, students and other staff the month of February because of its designation as National Career Technical and Agriculture Education (CTAE) month. High Schools offer their students many CTAE or career based program pathways and Wiregrass is able to partner with these schools to provide additional pathways.

In celebration of CTAE month, Wiregrass’ High School Coordinators have been visiting each high school during the schools’ lunch shifts to present each school with banners, stickers, and teacher gifts. Wiregrass has given away blue tooth speakers to CTAE Month grand prize student winners and other Wiregrass tokens of congratulations to all CTAE students.

“The CTAE programs offered through our local high schools provide students with practical, real world courses that help them be better prepared for college and careers,” shared Brooke Jaramillo Director of Recruitment and High School Services.  “Students who take these courses while in high school usually perform better in their college programs once they enroll at Wiregrass Georgia Tech, usually graduate on time with much success, and are ready to enter the workforce at higher rates of pay than other students their age.   The CTAE teachers and administrators in our service area work tirelessly to prepare students for real world careers that will help them be responsible members of our local communities.  Wiregrass is honored to partner with high school CTAE programs and looks forward to a long relationship with each.”

Some of the CTAE partnership programs that Wiregrass offers at area high schools include; Nurse Aide, Criminal Justice, Customer Service, Culinary Arts, Child Development, Video Specialist, Shampoo Technician, Basic Mechatronic Technician, Certified Manufacturing Specialist, Health Information Coding, Logistics, Microsoft Office Application Professional,  and Welding and Construction.  

If you would be interested in learning more about Wiregrass’ high school programs through the state funded program called Move on When Ready, please contact Brooke Jaramillo at 333-2100 ext. 6163 or visit wiregrass.edu.


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