Haywood County Schools and Haywood Community College recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for high school students interested in pursuing dual enrollment opportunities through the Career and College Promise program. The MOU outlines the terms under which the Haywood County School system and HCC and will provide such opportunities to public schools students in Haywood County.

Dr. Bill Nolte, Haywood County Schools Associate Superintendent, stated, “HCC and Haywood County Schools already have a long history of providing high school students dual enrollment opportunities. With the implementation of the Career and College Promise program, we both want to make sure that these opportunities will continue to be available to any Haywood County student who qualifies and has interest in the programs offered.”

Dr. Anne Garrett, Haywood County Schools Superintendent, added, “Our MOU is an important step in ensuring the coordination of our two institutions at all levels so that we provide each student wanting to earn college credit through Career and College Promise that chance.” 

The Career and College Promise program allows eligible high school students to earn college credit, tuition free, during their junior and senior years in high school and is designed to provide a seamless dual enrollment educational opportunity to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that provide entry‐level job skills or lead to college transfer.

High school juniors or seniors who meet academic eligibility requirements are able to enroll in college classes through career technical education or college transfer pathways in the Career and College Promise program. Haywood County Schools and HCC are currently offering high school students opportunities to earn college credit in automotive systems technology, business administration, collision repair and refinishing technology, criminal justice technology, early childhood education, forest management technology, industrial systems technology, manicuring and nail technology, and college transfer programs. These courses are taught on the high school campuses, at HCC, and online. 

Upon completing their pathway, students will be awarded a certificate from HCC. This fall semester, over 80 high school students from Haywood County Schools are enrolled in either a career technical education or college transfer pathway at HCC.

Haywood Early College, a Cooperative Innovative High School, is also part of the Career and College Promise program. Haywood Early College accepts students entering into the ninth grade. These students then go on to complete a five year program where they earn both their high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree while attending classes on HCC’s campus.  This year over fifty high school freshmen began taking classes as part of the Haywood Early College program.  

Matt Heimburg, HCC’s High School Programs Coordinator, stated, “I believe our MOU signals the spirit of collaboration between Haywood County Schools and HCC and our mutual focus on student success. The chance to earn college credit for free and enter a program that can reduce the time it will take to complete a college diploma or degree really makes this an exciting opportunity for everyone. It is something that students and parents know is just too good to pass up.”

The Career and College Promise program is available to all qualifying high school juniors and seniors, including private and homeschooled students. For more information on the opportunities available to high school students through Career and College Promise at HCC, please contact Matt Heimburg, High School Programs Coordinator, at mheimburg@haywood.edu or (828) 627-4579, or visit http://www.haywood.edu/high_school_programs.