PROGRAM VISIT - Kentucky Secretary of Education Hal Heiner received a personal view of a program that helps make Fulton City High School first class. The secretary - along with Dr. Wayne Lewis Jr., an educational leadership professor on loan to the Education Cabinet - visited Fulton Monday to learn more about Bulldog Academy, the high school’s dual credit program.
Geneva Storey, a member of the FHS faculty and Bulldog Academy sponsor, used an interactive quiz to show the guests the successes of the program. She also had Monica Brown, a FHS and Bulldog Academy alumnae, to explain how important the ability to earn college credit while attending high school played in her life.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, Brown showed how she was able to enroll at Western Kentucky University during fall 2014 as a sophomore thanks to the 44 credit hours she had earned at FHS prior to her graduation in May 2014. Brown was able to earn the credit hours at no cost to her other than an investment of time to complete the online courses.
This was made possible because the Four Rivers Foundation provides financial assistance to FIS through the Bulldog Academy to make the dual credit program available.
Showing the financial breakdown on the PowerPoint, Brown explained that the college credits she earned during high school saved her almost $18,000 in college tuition and, after taking into account the scholarships she earned, has alleviated $5,000 in debt that she might have otherwise incurred.
Through her association with Bulldog Academy and the Four Rivers Foundation’s dual credit program, Brown still earns while she learns. Two times each semester, Brown checks in with Storey to update the educator on her academic adventures in Bowling Green. During those visits, she receives a $250 check each time to help her pay for books, class fees, school supplies, food or other items she might need to make college life a bit easier for her. Brown explained that the funds made a huge difference in her life and her success in college.
Because of Bulldog Academy, Brown will graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism a year early from college giving her a year head start on her career. Brown will have a fulfilling summer filled with hands on experience as she interns with WPSD Local 6 in Paducah.
In addition to meeting Brown, Secretary Heiner was able to meet some of the current students taking part in the Bulldog Academy at FHS. He also had an opportunity to talk with Crissie Purcell, a FHS sophomore who recently earned honors during a computer coding competition for a video game she designed. Purcell was able to show Heiner the game in action.
During his stop in Fulton, Heiner also had the chance to visit with Bill Roberston, a member of the FIS Board of Trustees; Tamara Smith, FIS Superintendent; and Dr. R.B. Mays, FIS Principal. Robbie Rudolph, one of the founders of the Four Rivers Foundation, and Dianne Owen, the foundation’s director, were travelling with Heiner for the day.
Fulton was just one of four schools Heiner visited Monday. He also visited Fulton County, Hickman County and Carlisle County schools. Each of those schools has dual credit programs that receive financial assistance from the Four Rivers Foundation.