5/28/14 Some start college as sophomores, juniors through program

Some start college as sophomores, juniors through program
By Isaac Groves, The Times-News 5/28/14  
Reprinted with permission.      

   Some high-school graduates are starting college as sophomores or juniors after going through the Career and College Promise program at Alamance Community College.

   The state-funded program replaced some earlier programs in 2012. It lets qualifying highschool juniors and seniors take community college courses for free and transfer those credits to participating four-year colleges. They can also lead to technical certificates. The idea is to give motivated high-school students a way to save on college tuition and start their careers earlier. Students choose a specific pathway and pay for their books.

   It is not easy. Rebecca McVey graduated from Graham High School in 2013. She split her mornings between the high school and ACC, went on to an internship in the afternoons and back to ACC for a night class. The payoff was going into Appalachian State University as a second-semester sophomore, paying no tuition for her freshman year.

   Students in the college-transfer pathway can focus on humanities and social science, business and economics or engineering and math.

   There is also a pathway for Alamance-Burlington Middle College students and a career and technical education pathway leading to one of more than 25 technical certificates.

   The college-transfer pathway lets students earn up to 34 college-credit hours, but students do not have to stop there.

   Holden Welborn, a home-school student in Burlington, earned her 34 credits and was then eligible to take other ACC classes.

   She is on track to finish with 64 credits and an associate’s degree as well as a high school diploma. She plans to enter the nursing program at East Carolina University in the fall, according to ACC.

   There are 380 students in the Alamance-Burlington School System taking classes through CCP, said Kent Byrd, executive director of secondary school leadership at ABSS. Most of them took more than one class.