At Haywood Community College’s graduation ceremonies on May 9th and 10th, over forty Haywood County Schools Juniors and Seniors were awarded a total of fifty-seven certificates from Haywood Community College. Students will be awarded certificates in the areas of Criminal Justice Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining, Automotive Systems Technology, and Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology.  

The students identify the classes as a valuable and practical part of their high school education that has prepared them for their future. Cauley McClure and Riley Hannah are Tuscola High School students who are both graduating from HCC with two certificates in automotive systems technology. McClure said, “These classes have a lot of real life applicable knowledge you can begin using on the job and in your life.” Cauley will begin at HCC in the fall with a double major in auto systems technology and computer-integrated machining.  

Hannah stated, “These classes will give you the technical knowledge to be prepared to work in today’s automotive environment. These classes will get you ready for the real world.” This fall Hannah is enrolling in the diesel program at the Lincoln College of Technology in Nashville. 

Jonathan Shelton and David Hernandez are Pisgah High School students graduating from HCC with a certificate in Automotive Systems Technology. Shelton said, “Now I know the proper way to do things. We use advanced equipment, like a scan tool that will tell you everything about the electrical status of a vehicle.” To others that are considering the program he said, “It’ll be the best decision of your life.” Shelton has enlisted in the Army and will begin as an Apache helicopter repairer.  

Hernandez said, “All that I know about brakes and auto electronics I learned from these classes.  If you take these classes you’ll learn a lot and you’ll have a head start in life.” Hernandez is currently working at Domestic Auto in Clyde.

Dr. Bill Nolte, Haywood County Schools Associate Superintendent, stated, “These students have capitalized on a tremendous opportunity. They will be graduating from high school with a college certificate which will give them an advantage whether they choose to continue their education or join the workforce.”

These students have earned their respective certificates for free through the North Carolina Career and College Promise Program.  The 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.

This coming fall semester over eighty-five Haywood County Schools high school students are enrolled in either a career technical education or college transfer pathway at HCC. 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, Electronics Engineering 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. 

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, contact Matt Heimburg, High School Programs Coordinator, at or (828) 627-4579.