In a program that is the first of its kind in Georgia, the University of North Georgia (UNG) is offering a residential summer dual-enrollment program for high school students interested in language or science and mathematics. Tuition is paid by the state's Accel program, and JROTC students also could qualify for additional scholarship funds to study language.
Dr. Chaudron Gille, UNG's associate vice president for university affairs and academic services, said dual enrollment programs such as Accel can shorten the time it takes to a student earn a college degree, one of several strategies identified in the statewide Complete College Georgia initiative. Accel programs are very popular and enrollment in Accel grew by 24 percent this year at UNG; however, this is the first time the program has been available during the summer and in a residential experience.
"Allowing high school students to take college courses that also satisfy their high school graduation requirements gives them a head start on their college degree without them having to pay tuition or have it count against their HOPE scholarship," Gill said. "A student who begins taking Accel courses in their junior year could enter college as a sophomore, saving a year of time and tuition. It’s a great opportunity at a time when many families struggle to pay for college."
The STEM Institute, which offers seven college credits, is for students who aspire to careers in science, technology or math after completing their college education. The Language Institute, which offers eight college credits, is for students interested in careers where understanding a strategic language and culture is critical, such as the FBI, CIA and U.S. State Department.
Planned for June 22 through July 31, the institutes are offered to Georgia high school students who will be juniors or seniors in fall 2014, including home-schooled students. Only 24 students will be accepted for the STEM Institute and 54 for the Language Institute. Applicants must have a minimum 3.25 GPA and a minimum 970 SAT.
Offering the STEM Institute is one way UNG supports efforts to recruit biotechnology businesses to Georgia, said Dr. Mike Bodri, dean of the university's College of Science and Mathematics.
"UNG recognizes the need for a well-educated and well-trained workforce to fill existing and new positions in STEM fields," Bodri said. "To help high school students get a 'head start' on science and mathematics education, our first summer Accel program was developed specifically to allow a student to complete two required classes: Introductory Biology and Pre-calculus."
Co-curricular activities planned for the weekends will help further develop students' appreciation of the STEM field, Bodri said, and students will get support outside the classroom through UNG faculty, students, teaching assistants, and tutors.
Students in the Accel Language Institute will take immersive courses seven days a week. Dr. Christopher Jespersen, dean of the College of Arts & Letters, said the program offers languages taught at few Georgia high schools: Arabic, Chinese, Korean or Russian.
"The Accel Language Institute is the next exciting step at the University of North Georgia in bringing language learning opportunities to students around the state," Jespersen said. "We are eager to offer this pilot program because of what it will mean to high school students interested in languages and how it will help develop the language skills of Georgia students in preparation for college life and the career paths the students choose."
While Accel pays tuition, remaining costs total around $1,400 for the Language Institute and $1,600 for the STEM Institute. This includes room and meals for 40 days, books and lab fees, a refundable residence hall deposit, and an application fee. All application materials must be submitted by May 1.
Dates, locations, admissions criteria and process, courses, and other details are on this web site: http://ung.edu/undergrad/summerAccel.