Move On When Ready - A Parent's Perspective

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Contributed by Carrie Viohl

When I was a young mom of two toddlers, I felt pretty sure that I had the parenting thing figured out. Read a lot of books aloud, play imagination games on the floor, spend plenty of time exploring outside, feed a variety of good foods, bathe them on occasion, and give a lot of hugs. Easy! In truth, my husband and I have been blessed with really great kids, but as they race towards adulthood, we are realizing that helping them make choices in their teenage years is the true heavy lifting of parenting. Which activities are worth their limited time? Who should their friends be? How can they avoid major pitfalls? Which classes should they take in school? What career paths should they be exploring? It’s a daunting time for a parent!

When my eldest, Rebecca, was looking at options for high school, the AP route seemed the best option for her. She’s extremely studious, self-motivated, and she thrives under academic challenge. I heard the counselors talking about other options, such as “Move On When Ready,” but to be honest, I didn’t understand what those options were. As it turns out, AP courses at her high school have been a great fit for Becca. When she graduates in 2018, she will have several AP credits under her belt that might transfer as college credits to whatever Georgia University that she chooses. Now I have a rising 9th grader. My son, Riley, is opposite from his sister in many ways. He’s a hands-on learner, a people person, and school has often been the thing he has to do to get to the activities that he really enjoys. I knew that the AP route wasn’t going to be the best option for him, but until I started getting involved at Southern Regional Technical College, I really didn’t have a solid idea of how to help him make the most of his high school years.

Then, I heard about Megan Hornsby, a high school student who will graduate this month, and enter RN school in the fall. Because of Move On When Ready at SRTC, she will graduate about 2 years ahead of most of her fellow high school seniors. By the time she turns 20 years old, she could be ready to start her career as a registered nurse. I started thinking of Riley, with his love of hands-on learning, and his interest in architecture. SRTC offers a variety of drafting and construction industry courses that would be fantastic avenues for him to learn more about his field of interest. He lit up like a sunny day as I talked to him about the opportunity to take college courses while he’s still in high school. Easy as that, our choice was made! For kids who may not be laser focused on a field of study, SRTC also offers over 27 general education courses that transfer to University System of Georgia universities and colleges. That means that high schoolers can graduate with their high school diploma, and with all or most of their college “core” knocked out, effectively halving their years in college before they even leave high school.

With towering student loans being a major concern for so many students and their parents, Move On When Ready is an amazing opportunity to get a head start on college, at zero cost to the students or their families. (Additionally, MOWR hours do not count against HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships!) I am thrilled to know that there are so many great options available to high school students in SOWEGA. If you have a student who is in or nearing high school, right now is a great time to start exploring how they can make the most of their high school years! If information on MOWR interests you, keep reading this column, because I will be writing future installments about this amazing program, which is already helping students all over the state excel in both high school and college!

SRTC offers over 148 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu or call (888) 205 – 3449.