HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE

CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721

CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS

OR DIANA CONARD

PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 08-31-04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ADVANCED COLLEGE TRACK AT HCC SUCCESSFUL AMONG AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

At HCC, area high school students can participate in the Advanced College Track (ACT) program and get a head start on college. Through a partnership between Haywood Community College and Haywood County Schools, students use one of three options in the ACT as a guide to begin a successful path to pursue and complete a college degree.

The ACT program familiarizes students with the college environment while giving them more educational and career opportunities. The program provides an opportunity for high school students to complete a portion of their freshman year before they enroll in a college program. Tuition is free to high school students in each of these options. Options available for high school students include dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, or college tech prep classes.

Dual Enrollment

The Dual Enrollment Program allows high school students 16 years of age or older to take college level courses. College credit will be awarded to students upon successful completion of the courses. While the classes are tuition free, students must purchase any required textbooks and supplies. For fall semester 2004, 22 students from Pisgah High School are enrolled in the dual enrollment program at HCC, 14 students from private schools or home schools in Haywood County, 13 from surrounding counties, and 6 from Tuscola High School. While there are several classes available for dual enrolled students, some of the most common are cosmetology, psychology, and basic computer courses.

Through the dual enrollment program, HCC offers Cosmetology to Haywood County high school students. For a total of 20 hours per week, high school students participate in classes on the HCC campus. High school students can complete half of the requirements for a cosmetology or associate degree during their junior and senior years. Upon graduation from high school, students can obtain an associate degree in two semesters.

According to Tammy Solesbee, HCC cosmetology dual enrollment instructor, students in the program are exposed in their first year to everything they would do on the salon floor.

"This is a great opportunity for high school students," Solesbee explains. "They are having a good time learning."

"The dual enrollment cosmetology program gives students a jump start on a college education," Deborah Ball, HCC Cosmetology Program Coordinator explains.

For Pisgah student, Adrian Parker, the HCC cosmetology dual enrollment classes have been a great experience. "Before I started the cosmetology classes at HCC, I didn’t know where I was going after high school," Parker explains. "The classes are challenging but it’s a good choice for me." After high school, Parker plans to continue with the program and obtain an associate degree.

Concurrent Enrollment

Through the Concurrent Enrollment Courses (Huskins Bill Group Courses), high school students earn credits toward an HCC degree and/or credits that will transfer to a four-year college or university while fulfilling high school requirements. Many courses are offered at all three Haywood County high schools, some of which are in Automotive Systems Technology, Auto Body Repair, Criminal Justice, and Business Administration.

For fall semester 2004, 336 Haywood County high school students are enrolled in Concurrent Enrollment courses, constituting 17 percent of total enrollment. The majority of these students attend Tuscola High School. There are 197 students from Tuscola High School in concurrent enrollment classes, 99 from Pisgah High School, and 40 from Central Haywood High School.

Through Concurrent Enrollment, students can take classes at Pisgah High School in the Automotive Systems Technology program. Instructor Jim McClure teaches the classes at Pisgah. He says the program is a great opportunity for students, one he wishes had been available for him.

"It is much easier to work with younger students," McClure says. "Those that have been out in the world have often learned how to work on vehicles the wrong way. With high school students, we can get them started on the right foot."

At Tuscola, Concurrent Enrollment students can benefit from Robert McDowell’s criminal justice experience. With over 20 years in the law enforcement field, McDowell hopes to make an impression on his young students. "I have learned the importance of being ethical and moral and how to treat people," McDowell says. "I hope to teach this to these students."

College Tech Prep

Through the College Tech Prep program, students choose a Career Pathway from major career clusters and take recommended high school courses that will provide students with the academic, vocational, and technical background needed to pursue their chosen career. Upon graduation from high school, students may receive advanced placement at HCC or may get course credit for successful completion of designated courses taken in high school. Students must score a grade of "B" or better in each high school class and score 80 or higher on VoCATS Post Assessment Scores that are given at the high school. Students must enroll at the community college within two years of high school graduation.

The College Tech Prep program gives students more educational and career opportunities, as well as yielding better-educated workers to businesses and industries.

According to Vicki Russell, Director of Career and Technical Education for the Haywood County School System, "HCC and Haywood County Schools have a strong relationship. It is increasingly important to have a cooperative working relationship between the two systems."

HCC strives to help Haywood County by giving its residents many opportunities to succeed. These three programs are designed to give high school students many choices to better their educational and employment outlook, while allowing them to earn credit while still in high school. These options are tuition free for high school students, getting them on the fast track to success! For more information on the Advanced College Track program or any other programs offered at HCC, please call 627-4500.

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