A reception was held at the DCHS cafeteria Thursday night for the twelve students who recently received their diplomas through the adult high school program.
Coordinator and Instructor Susan Hinton says the accomplishments of these individuals is certainly something worth celebrating. "This evening was to honor and to celebrate the twelve students who previously had no high school diploma and now have a high school diploma to go out into the world. Several of them are in the military. I have one (student) who is in the Army, one who is in the Guard, and one filed his paperwork to go in the Guard today. I have a student now who will graduate in probably four weeks and he is going into the Marines. Now everybody who is in adult high school does not go into the military, many are out in the community and having a wonderful life here. One young lady is already in college. The people in the 2008-09 graduation are Billy Anderson, Christie Bain, Phillip Bennett, Chris Benson, Marissa Cervinca, Brian Cunningham, Robert Frazier, Jessica Johnson, Justin Poss, Justin Taylor, Bianca Torres, and Jamie Scruggs. Many of them have already picked up their diplomas and we hope that this has made a difference in their lives."
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also commended the adult high school graduates on their achievements. "It's great to have second chances. I think everybody needs a second chance. A lot of times many people don't have the opportunity to get a second chance but through the adult high school, we have people, and this year twelve people, who have had the opportunity to get a second chance and they have successfully completed the adult high school courses. I think people need to remember that a DeKalb County Adult High School diploma is a high school diploma. So many of the doors that were locked before a high school diploma are now open for these twelve people and they have opportunities out there in front of them that they didn't have before. Regardless of what some people think, when you get an adult high school diploma, you have worked for it. It doesn't come easy. It's very difficult. There's no quick way to get a high school diploma. It comes with a lot of hard work and I congratulate all the students for the work they've done and to Mrs. Hinton for the superb job she does."
If you didn't complete your high school education, you can go back to school through the adult high school program. Students graduate as they finish their course work.
Hinton says "I get many calls from people wanting to get into the program, but I refer them to DCHS School counselor. Call 615- 597-2243 or set up an appointment. The school counselor will go through your record and determine how many credits that you have. There are different qualifications depending upon what years you were enrolled in high school. The state requires participants to take a reading exam and you have to be reading on an 8.1 level in order to come into the program. If you are transferring from another school system, the requirement is that you do have to live in DeKalb County. The school counselor checks the school record to determine the credits needed. To receive any high school credit, all students must have twenty credits. That's basic credits. That also has to be in certain subjects."
"The classes meet from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day (on the high school campus). Adult high school student have two scheduled breaks during the day and they have a one hour period at lunch. They may go anywhere they wish, but we close down the building from noon until 1:00 p.m. That enables them to go home, if they need to check on their families or whatever. After lunch, they come back and we open again at 1:00 p.m. Our schedule runs concurrent with the program of the regular school system. In other words, if schools are out for a snow break or other inclement weather, we are also out. If it's a teacher/faculty day, then schools are closed at the adult high school. The only exception is that instead of the regular summer school, adult high school is open all day again and that happens around the month of June. So it's kind of a year round program."
Hinton says students who attend the adult high school are not taking a short cut to obtaining their diploma. "Each student is independent in their subjects, so they're pretty much self guided. Each course has it's own set of criteria, depending upon what subject the student is working in. I also do career counseling with them and we have guests in from time to time to talk to them about various careers. There's not a short cut. Each class takes 133 hours and that is clock hours. They have to do the work to match the clock hours. They have to pass that subject. In other words, if they sit in there and they do the time and don't do the work or pass then they will fail. It would be an "F". A half of a credit is 70 hours so they have to do 70 clock hours plus the work that goes with that subject. So there's not a fast cut. They can only do one credit at a time. I also have had some high school students who have already had a course and did not complete it for credit. So for them there is what is called Credit Recovery and sometimes they can go back and pick up a class by doing computer work that matches that class. But even that is quite a bit of work. That is not a short cut either. There is no short cut to getting a high school diploma."
For more information call the high school guidance department at 615- 597-2243 or the adult high school at 615-597-2254.