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Shortening Time to Degree

Among the goals of Complete College Georgia is shortening the time to degree through programs that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school and by awarding credit for prior learning that is verified by appropriate assessment. 

For many USG institutions across the state, Advanced Placement (AP) has long been an established part of their admissions and matriculation process, awarding credits for exemplary performance on the AP exams.  As the International Baccalaureate (IB) program has matured in Georgia, campuses have established policies and procedures for recognizing this work as well.

Dual Enrollment (formerly called Move on When Ready) provides high school students opportunities to pursue college courses that will count toward their high school diploma as well as earn credit toward a post-secondary award.  Courses may be offered at either a college campus, online, or at the student’s high school.  The Dual Enrollment program provides an opportunity for eligible Georgia high school students to enroll in college coursework full time and receive credit toward both a high school diploma and a post-secondary award.

Early College represents a partnership between a local area high school and a USG institution that allows students to earn their high school diploma and credit toward a post-secondary degree.  In 2016 there were nine early colleges in Georgia, serving students throughout the state.  These specially structured programs support college readiness and success through aligned curricular work, rigorous instruction, and college-oriented environments for students. 

In addition to these classroom based avenues for students to earn college credit, there exist programs to validate knowledge and skills through examinations and review.  These include the American Council on Education’s Credit Recommendation Service (ACE), which evaluates training programs, certifications, apprenticeships and examinations for possible college credit, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of The College Board, which provides credit-by-examination with 33 exams in five discipline areas, and the DSST offered by Prometrics that offers 34 exams in six discipline areas.  Finally, institutions may choose to grant credit to enrolling students based on portfolio review.  All of these options for prior learning assessment provide students with a means to document what they already know, what they can do and place this information in the context of a post-secondary program.