The duel between magnet and dual enrollment


Tara Anastasoff

Junior, Liam McFarland, exemplifies the struggles magnet program students face with dual-enrollment. His frustration replicates the feelings of many other high-achieving students who are unable to jumpstart their college career because of North Cobb magnet program’s limitations.

Denise Thomas, Reporter

NC’s International Studies Magnet Program, created in 2007, strives to incorporate rigor, college preparation, and personal contact for every Magnet student. Students in the program differ from the general student body in reference to counselor assignments and class restrictions, which do not allow extra programs like dual enrollment or minimum day. Dual enrollment approaches different tactics compared to the Magnet Program, but both attempt to supply students with ample college credits and experience.

“The Magnet program allows for more individual contact between Magnet students and their teachers and counselors,” Magnet counselor Brie Perozzi said. “Advisement has turned into a closer teacher-student relationship and the same teacher follows those students throughout all four years. The Magnet counselor is also required to meet with each Magnet student, grades 9-12, at least once a year.”

Personal contact in the Magnet program helps students handle stress, homework, grades, college, and other extracurricular activities as well.

“Magnet requires you to take very difficult classes. The workload is very hard and requires the majority of your time,” senior Kenny Koch said.

Concerning college acceptance, many students say Magnet does not benefit students in any way.

“Some of my friends who have graduated from Magnet did not get into their choice college, and I have also contacted colleges who said doing Magnet did not impact their college admissions,” Koch said.

On the other hand, Magnet students can take more AP classes, such as AP Human Geography their freshman year, the AP Environmental Science and ASR bundle their junior year, as well as the AP Comparative Government and AP Macroeconomics bundle their senior year. Since Magnet students earn more AP credits, they raise their class ranking easier.

“The majority of the top 100 ranked students at North Cobb are Magnet students. These students have more Magnet-weighted classes that have the extra quality points to bring up their GPA,” Perozzi said.

A common dispute between students pertains to whether to stay in Magnet and take AP classes, or to enter dual enrollment and take the college course inside the college itself.

“Students would have to contact the admissions office to ask whether that college would prefer for students to maximize the availability of AP classes available or to dual enroll. The main difference is that students do not get the extra quality point for classes they take at the university,” Perozzi said.

Tiana Smith, a senior at NC enrolled into the dual enrollment program at Chattahoochee Tech for her junior year.

“Dual enrollment taught me how to properly manage my time and learn what college is like before I get there. It was difficult to balance both at first because they are very different, but over time I’ve learned to just view my college classes as a higher level high school class,” Smith said.

Smith, now working on her sophomore level college classes, still embraces her senior year.

“Dual enrollment makes me enjoy the time I spend in high school as it reminds me I am running out of time to experience it,” Smith said.

Moreover, a student’s success through Magnet and dual enrollment comes down to what the individual student and college prefers.

“There are certainly ways to prepare for college and become extremely competitive aside from the Magnet program and navigating yourself through APs, it just requires more initiative,” NC Vice Principal and Magnet Coordinator David Stephenson said.