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Move on When Ready program at TU opens doors

Alan Simms, an 18-year-old homeschool student from Thomasville has big plans. Next fall he will be a freshman at Valdosta State University.  Through a dual degree program coordinated with the Georgia Institute of Technology, he will pursue an Applied Mathematics degree from Valdosta State and an Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, with eventual transfer to Georgia Tech for completion.

Simms began his college career during high school as a student in the Move on When Ready (MOWR) at Thomas University. This program that provides opportunities for high school students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. Funding for the program is provided by the Georgia Department of Education. Tuition, books and certain fees are covered by the MOWR program.

“Thomas University is a great choice for MOWR students who are ready for the demanding work of college courses and want to experience it beside college students,” said Dr. Jill Dennis, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “MOWR students attend classes with other Thomas University students enabling interaction and collaboration. In addition to earning college credit, MOWR students have the opportunity to explore areas of academic interest before the pressure of declaring a major. They receive the same individual attention from a Thomas University adviser that all our students receive.”

Simms began taking classes at TU in the fall of 2014. He chose TU because of its proximity to his house and because of the campus beauty. Once he enrolled, he found a curriculum that both challenged his intellect and helped him stretch his wings. One of his favorite subjects was calculus.

“It wasn’t just the subject matter but the way Professor Ingee Lee presented it,” Simms said. “The material itself was challenging, but it was taught so well and with such enthusiasm that I grasped it easily. I appreciate the fact that TU professors show a genuine interest in helping each student succeed.”

Simms also excels outside the classroom. He reached the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He also competes in USA Shooting’s Junior Olympic Shotgun program. He’s the current Junior Olympic Double Trap Champion in Georgia.

Simms trains at South Georgia Youth Shooting Club, a USA Shooting Certified Training Center in Hartsfield, one of only five such sites in the nation and the only one in Georgia. He plans to continue training and competing nationally at least until he reaches the end of his junior eligibility at age 21.

Recently Simms was named a 2016 Georgia Scholar, one of only 150 in the state. Coordinated by the Georgia Department of Education, this honor recognizes graduating high school seniors for their academic performance as well as their leadership roles within their communities.

At Valdosta State University, Simms has been named as one of five incoming freshmen to win the prestigious Jennett Scholarship for 2016. This program provides a $5,000 annual scholarship for four years at VSU and a waiver for on-campus housing.

“Alan is a perfect example of someone who fits Thomas University’s MOWR program,” Dennis said. “He is a high-achieving high school student who not only excels in the college classroom and connects with professors, he also demonstrates our mission of how TU values individual students and provides a means for their transformation. We are proud to recognize Alan as one of TU’s MOWR alumni and to have been a part of his transformation journey to a college degree and beyond.”

For more information about the MOWR program at TU, contact the Office of Admissions at 229-227-6925 or admissions@thomasu.edu.

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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