Accelerated Career (Option B)

Using the Accelerated Career program (formerly called Option B), students can graduate with their high school diploma while being exempted from certain academic course requirements. These students must complete specific high school courses as noted below. Accelerated Career students must also choose to earn two approved technical certificates or a technical college diploma, which are obtained through the Dual Enrollment program. In Barrow County, students have easy access to these Dual Enrollment programs through Lanier Technical College and Sims Academy. Students who meet Accelerated Career Diploma requirements shall be deemed to have met all graduation requirements of the State Board of Education. Students pursuing this path must work closely with their high school counselor and Sims Academy staff to ensure that they meet both the high school and college graduation requirements.

Accelerated career Requirements

Students pursuing an Accelerated Career diploma must take and pass the following high school courses:

  • Two English courses, one being American Literature
  • Two mathematics courses, one being Algebra I
  • Two science courses, one being Biology
  • Two social studies courses (American Government/Economics and World History or US History for students who started high school in the Fall of 2022 and after)
  • One Health and Physical Education course


In addition to taking the specific high school courses above, students must earn two specific technical certificates of credit (TCCs) or a technical college diploma. These programs are only accessible through the State’s Dual Enrollment program where students are accepted to a technical college and will take college classes as a college student, while still enrolled in high school. To be accepted to the technical college, students must meet GPA requirements or earn a satisfactory score on the Accuplacer. Entrance into the Dual Enrollment program happens annually from December to April of the school year and starts off with a mandatory Student/Parent Information Program. Currently, the technical certificate paths for Accelerated Career available at Sims Academy are:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Automotive Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Industrial Systems
  • Welding

Students may have other certificate and diploma options through Lanier or other Technical Colleges, such as accounting, business, technology, mechatronics, building automation, computer science, or others. Students will want to work with the Counseling Office at their high school to get help researching other options, if desired.


Students are funded for 30 credit hours of college credit through the Dual Enrollment program. Students who exhaust Dual Enrollment funding can utilize the HOPE Grant or HOPE Career Grant if they are seeking a technical diploma or certificate program. HOPE Grant hours do count toward the HOPE combined hours, which will affect the number of funded credit hours available to students after their high school graduation. Also note that HOPE Grant and HOPE Career Grant may not pay all of the costs that dual enrollment would cover. Students also have the option to self-pay for their college courses after the credit hour maximum is exceeded.

SAMPLE program of study

Below is a sample schedule for what a student's high school program of study might look like on the Accelerated Career path for a student who started high school BEFORE Fall of 2022. Students who wish to change to the Accelerated Career Diploma must work with their school counselor. A formal Accelerated Career Meeting will take place with the student, parent and counselor to ensure graduation requirements are explained and strong advisement of career options is provided.


9th Grade

10th Grade

11th & 12th Grade

English 9th Grade Literature

10th Grade Literature

American Literature

Math Algebra I Geometry Open for Dual Enrollment Coursework
Science Physical Science Biology Open for Dual Enrollment Coursework
Social Studies World Geography World History Open for Dual Enrollment Coursework
Other Health/PE Open for Dual Enrollment Coursework Open for Dual Enrollment Coursework

*Students wishing to graduate before the fourth year of high school must petition the Board of Education for clearance. The high school counselor can assist a family with this petition if desired

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