First Lady Jill Biden discovers the success of GTCC's dual enrollment programs

Published on: April 16, 2024
First Lady Jill Biden speaking to GTCC Early/Middle College student Giovanni Robinson.
First Lady Jill Biden speaks to GTCC Early/Middle College student Giovanni Robinson (far right).

First Lady Jill Biden, Ph.D., got an up-close look at Guilford Technical Community College’s dual enrollment programs and their success Monday during a visit to the college that featured a roundtable with students in the program.

The First Lady’s stop on GTCC’s Greensboro campus was to promote President Joe Biden’s Classroom to Career initiative, a program that offers high school students a pathway to a career through community college dual enrollment.

“President Biden is helping young people and their families find answers,” said First Lady Biden during remarks. “Last month, he announced Classroom to Career, an ambitious new proposal, partnering with states, giving every student in America the opportunity to take community college courses in high school through dual enrollment.”

During her remarks, Biden, who is also a community college professor, praised North Carolina’s dual enrollment programs, which allow students to take college classes in high school without cost.

“North Carolina has been a leader in providing those opportunities and is exemplary in transforming high school into a place that prepares students for jobs,” said Biden.

The GTCC Early/Middle Colleges are alternative high school completion programs in partnership with Guilford County Schools. GTCC offers Early/Middle College programs on its Jamestown, Greensboro, and High Point campuses.

Two GTCC Early Middle College students – Teniola Oladunjoye and Giovanni Robinson – spoke during the roundtable, along with students from Randolph and Surry County community colleges, along with Whitney Oakley, Ed.D., Guilford County Schools superintendent, and other state community college officials.

Oladunjoye, who will graduate with her high school diploma and an Associate of Science degree in May, said the dual enrollment program offered the challenge she needed and that the hard work it required paid off.

She took advantage of dual enrollment to explore many options for her future and discovered a new passion along the way. Oladunjoye entered the program with her sights set on studying biology, but after exploring that subject, she decided it wasn’t for her.

“I was able to try different courses and figure out what I wanted to do,” said Oladunjoye. “I took a couple of business courses and a couple of health courses, and I realized I wanted to go to school for health policy management.”

After being accepted at numerous four-year colleges, she plans on attending UNC-Chapel Hill this fall to study health policy management.

Robinson, a 12th-grade student, used his dual-enrollment experience to maximize his potential and leadership abilities, and in the process, he has learned that he is not limited in what he can achieve.

The experience, Robinson said, “showed me I can be successful in these types of environments.”

In his discussion with leaders of the roundtable, Robinson talked about his goals of studying architecture and business with hopes of figuring out how to provide durable housing for people who cannot presently afford housing.

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