Reprinted with permission by The Cullman Times

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

Beginning this fall, Cullman High students will be able to fully participate in the dual-enrollment Fast Track program offered by Wallace State, which allows high-schoolers to graduate with both a diploma and associate’s degree.

The city high school had previously participated in the program, though a shift in focus internally sidelined Fast Track at Cullman High the past several years.

The Cullman County school system has participated in Fast Track the past several years, and has seen dozens of students graduate with college degrees.

After seeing several students transfer or opt to home school so they could dual enroll, city school officials have decided to bring the program back and make it easier for juniors and seniors to participate.

The board approved a resolution Thursday to formally participate in the Fast Track program. The resolution also supersedes any existing city school policies that could cause a conflict for students who choose to dual enroll, and requires the school to facilitate the student’s participation.

“We’ve had a lot of interest, and this will allow students who want to participate to do so, while also ensuring no policies contradict that,” superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson said.

School board member Suzanne Harbin said the move will give the opportunity back to students, and is part of a larger push by Patterson to offer even more options for students.

Wallace State’s Fast Track offers high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to simultaneously enroll in secondary and postsecondary coursework on the campus of Wallace State. The courses meet state requirements for high school graduation while also providing the general education requirements for the certificate and associate degree programs.

Students are enrolled full-time at the high school on the community college campus. The Fast Track Project Director and staff supervise students and monitor academic progress. Enrolled students are also able to participate in extracurricular activities at their home high schools.

A message left for Cullman High principal Dr. Elton Bouldin was not returned.