Motlow raises the bar for incoming high school students

Motlow State Community College
Through Motlow’s Dual Enrollment Program local seniors can earn their Associate’s Degree before receiving their high school diplomas. (Photo Provided)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Graduating college before high school may sound like an impossible task, but student commitment, secondary vision, and post-secondary collaboration makes this feat increasingly possible.

This year, Motlow saw 87 dual enrollment students receive a college degree before a high school degree. This unique group of high school college graduates is the new benchmark for rising classes. Their ability to graduate college before graduating high school is a testament to the opportunities now available to all students.

“These students walked in graduation at Motlow in early May and then walked in graduation later the same month at their high school. That’s huge! They all worked very hard and followed a plan we all helped to outline for them so that they could receive dual credit in classes for high school and college. This allowed them to receive a two-for-one value, and those short-term gains helped them achieve many long-term benefits,” according to Sally Pack, Director of High School Initiatives.

The state of Tennessee is committed to raising college-going aspirations among all high school students by requiring that all high school students receive early post-secondary opportunities (EPSOs). These EPSO’s can include Advanced Placement classes, Cambridge International Exams, College Learning Examination Programs, International Baccalaureates, Local Dual Credits, Statewide Dual Credits, and Student Industry Certifications. Through the collaboration between Motlow and high schools throughout its service area, including Moore County High School, regional EPSO experiences have also become the gateway to graduating college before high school.

Research reveals that dual enrollment benefits both the student and the school by reducing tuition costs, raising high school graduation rates, elevating college-going aspirations, raising cumulative GPAs for first-time/full-time college students, and increasing engagement with underserved populations. Students who complete dual enrollment are more likely to enroll in college after high school and be more persistent in their pursuits. Dual enrollment reduces the need for remediation when matriculating to full-time college-student status, increases graduation rates, and raises the likelihood of graduating on time. Students can also reduce the time necessary to complete a degree, increase their confidence in their choice of major, gain student success in matriculating from a two-year college to a four-year university, and lose fewer credits through program alignment. 

All high school students within Motlow’s 11-county service area have the opportunity to take dual enrollment classes to get a head start on their college careers. Many students have the option to take dual enrollment classes at their local high schools. As a result of this, many high schools all over the surrounding areas were represented in the 87 dual enrollment graduates this year. Two outstanding examples of high schools that have worked with Motlow to promote dual enrollment excellence are LaVergne and Rockvale High Schools. They have both invested in a dual-enrollment relationship with Motlow and consistently see a growing number of students graduate both college and high school each May. 

These students embody Motlow’s mission of student success and workforce development by meeting high academic standards and entering the workforce sooner through their effort and dedication. Their accomplishments are a testament to the many benefits of dual enrollment.

As the Class of 2024 heads back to Moore County High School this fall, now is the time to learn more. For more information on how to enroll in dual enrollment classes, visit Motlow at •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We tells the stories of local folks here in Lynchburg as well as those happening across Tennessee and the American South that we believe may be of interest to our readers. Like what we’re doing? You can support us for just $5 per month by following this link.}