Motlow Dual-Enrollment program grows by 800%

Motlow State’s Dual Enrollment (DE) program, already featuring the highest enrollment of any community college in the state, set another milestone in May. The number of students who graduated from Motlow the same semester as they graduated high school grew a phenomenal 800%.

Partnerships with secondary schools are at the forefront of Motlow’s mission to serve the community, and as a result, Motlow leads the state in dual enrollment headcount. Dual enrollment partnerships allow high school students to take college courses in their junior and senior year to get a jumpstart on their college education.

“Motlow continues to create partnerships with high schools in our service area so any student that wants to take college courses while in high school has the opportunity to do that,” said Sally Pack, Dual Enrollment Director. “We appreciate the professionals in these high schools and in industry who help support and promote dual enrollment to their students. The growth that we are experiencing is exciting.”

After eight students accomplished dual graduations in 2019, Pack, working with partners from area high schools and industry, focused on increasing that dual graduation rate. In May 2020, 65 students graduated from Motlow and their high school, an increase of 800%. Leading the way in this growth was LaVergne High School, where 42 students graduated with associate degrees in General Studies.

“We are so pleased that our dual enrollment efforts are providing these wonderful opportunities for students,” said Melody Edmonds, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs. “The team is dedicated to student success, and the students are supported throughout their dual enrollment experience. We look forward to further expanding dual enrollment avenues in the future.”

One significant driver of the dramatic increase is Motlow’s Dual Enrollment Mechatronics program. Designed for high school juniors, the program allows students to obtain a degree in Mechatronics at no cost while completing their final two years of high school. In May 2020, 11 high school seniors became the first graduates from the Middle College Mechatronics program, funded by a grant awarded to Motlow in 2018.

A second factor in the rising rates of Motlow DE is the early scholarship opportunities it offers. Student who sign up for DE classes are often eligible for several tuition-free courses. DE students are more likely to enroll in college after high school graduation as opposed to taking a ‘gap’ year, or a year off. Studies show that taking a gap year can cost students over $90,000 of their lifetime earning potential.

The 11 Middle College Mechatronics graduates included students from Oakland, Franklin County, and Warren County high schools.

Additional high schools with 2020 dual enrollment graduates were Tullahoma, DeKalb County, Cannon County, and F.C. Boyd Christian School in McMinnville.

For further information contact Debbie Jennings at 931-393-1793 or djennings@mscc.edu.