Olivia Shapiro graduated in May 2019 along with more than 8,000 Cobb high school graduates. She is now a fulltime college student like many of her Pope High School classmates, except she is a step ahead.
In August, she started classes at Kennesaw State University as a college sophomore.
“That is all thanks to the Dual Enrollment program we have built into our school system that allows kids to go above and beyond and take college classes while satisfying high school credits as well,” Olivia praised.
Olivia took the first steps of her Dual Enrollment journey during the summer of 2017 when she was a rising junior at Pope High School.
“I began by taking one class that summer at Chattahoochee Technical College and then continued to take three classes each semester of my junior year while taking two classes at Pope,” the Cobb graduate explained.
As her senior year approached, Olivia decided to apply to Georgia State University, which provided her the opportunity to take more classes that aligned with her future career choices.
She transitioned to a fulltime Dual Enrollment student in the fall of 2018—her senior year. She took four college classes at Georgia State University’s smaller campuses that semester, but then found another Dual Enrollment opportunity closer to home.
“As classes were coming to an end that semester, my [Pope High School] counselor, Jamie Hamrick, sent me an email which said that Kennesaw State had opened up Spring applications for Dual Enrollment students. Georgia State was a far drive to Dunwoody and Alpharetta from my house, and Kennesaw seemed like an amazing option,” Olivia detailed.
She applied and was accepted to Kennesaw State University’s Dual Enrollment program. She started classes at Kennesaw State during her final semester as a high school senior.
“I fell in love with Kennesaw State. I made friends in my classes, and even had the ability to join some clubs to make even more friends,” Olivia revealed. “[I] gained knowledge about opportunities that I could have in the future.”
During her senior year of high school, Olivia submitted applications and was accepted to many colleges, but she chose to stay where her Cobb Dual Enrollment journey had led her.
“I decided to stay at KSU. I loved the campus, the environment, [and] the friends I had made, and I wanted to stay close to home,” the Cobb graduate explained.
Olivia credits the Cobb Schools Dual Enrollment program with more than helping her to narrow down her choices of colleges.
“Dual Enrollment opened so many doors for me. I saved my parents about $3,500 in just tuition and about $1,000 in textbooks because I participated in Dual Enrollment. Most importantly, I learned how to be independent. I gained studying skills and social skills that I wouldn’t have learned in high school,” Olivia touted.
The Pope High School graduate is now a year ahead on her bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Pre-Medicine track, and her minor in Criminal Justice.
“Throughout this journey, I had the help of my amazing counselor, Jamie Hamrick, who assisted me in choosing classes, and motivated me to become the strong, independent girl I am now,” the Pope graduate praised. “I am so thankful that I was able to participate in the Dual Enrollment program, and I hope that more and more students will engage in this opportunity.”