Anwering FAQs on Joint Enrollment

Since my recent column on Joint Enrollment, I've been besieged by questions. Well, maybe not "besieged." I actually enjoy hearing from people. But you know what I mean.

The point is, I've gotten a lot of e-mails about Joint Enrollment. And since I'm nothing if not responsive to my readers, I'm going to put the normal hilarity on hold and address the most frequently asked questions in a (semi)serious mode.

Q: What exactly is Joint Enrollment?

A: For those who haven't been paying attention, Joint Enrollment is the University System of Georgia program that allows high school seniors (and some juniors) to enroll in college courses.

Q: Where can my son or daughter take Joint Enrollment classes?

A: Georgia Perimeter College, with several campuses locally, has the largest JE program in the state. Georgia State also accepts JE students, while West Georgia and Middle Georgia have residential programs for juniors.

Although some JE courses are offered at high schools, most students travel to the college campus, where they can experience college life first-hand and observe the behavior of real college students up close.

Wait, maybe I should rephrase that ...

Q: How many JE courses can a student take?

A: As many as he or she can stand. Some students just take a course or two, but many take a full load (15 hours or more) each semester. These students are traditionally referred to, when they "start" college the following fall, as "sophomores."

Q: What are the requirements to get into Joint Enrollment?

A: A student must have a 3.0 grade-point average in core courses, calculated on a college scale. Non-academic courses, such as art and chorus, don't count. Neither do P.E., Lunch, or Making Out in the Hallway between Classes.

A student must also have a minimum 970 on the SAT with at least a 530 verbal and 440 math.

Q: You said Joint Enrollment is "essentially free." What's up with that?

A: JE courses are paid for by lottery funds via the Accel program and count toward the HOPE maximum of 127 credit hours. Accel also provides a modest allowance for books and supplies.

Q: Are Joint Enrollment courses transferable to any four-year college?

A: Courses taken at one University System of Georgia institution transfer directly to any other, with very few exceptions (Georgia Tech won't take lower-level math courses, for instance). Most out-of-state and private colleges also accept JE hours, although Harvard and Yale aren't yet on board.

So there you have it. If you want real humor, go back to the front section and read about state politics. Or just tune in to this space next week.

Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College.