Donated photo. Pictured is Melanie King, 2020 Haywood Community College High School Equivalency graduate. She is the first student at the College to complete requirements through the Multiple Pathways to High School Equivalency program. King plans to take classes to become a Certified Nurse Aide.

Melanie King, 2020 Haywood Community College High School Equivalency graduate, found that going back to school was easier than she thought. She was surprised to see others on the same journey ranged in age from teenagers to adults much older than her.

With the credential in her hand, King is now planning to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). “I want to be able to protect older people who can’t always protect themselves,” she says. “They deserve respect and I want to work for them.”

Throughout her life, King has dealt with medical issues. “A lot of things were out of my control,” King explains. “But being able to learn was in my control. No matter what, you can always learn.”

Still having numerous medical issues, King says every day was a struggle. Having a self-proclaimed math phobia, panic would set in each time she tried to complete the math requirements for the High School Equivalency.

King was able to utilize a program called Multiple Pathways to High School Equivalency. While the program has been in place for several years for students from other high schools, she is the first student to complete this pathway from HCC.

“This program provides more than one opportunity for students to demonstrate high school equivalency,” says Patricia Smith, Director of HCC’s College & Career Readiness Department. “Melanie took four adult high school math courses and one technology course to meet the requirements.”

The Multiple Pathways Program gives colleges the option to use a combination of currently valid pathway elements to document achievement on specifically determined content standards.   

Day, evening, and online classes are available through the College & Career Readiness department. Anyone interested in obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma may choose from two convenient options: the traditional classroom setting or online classes. The department also offers an Adult High School program for students who are age 16 and older. The Adult High School classes are taught on the main campus, Monday through Friday. Students may also choose to complete the diploma online.

For additional information about obtaining a High School Equivalency Diploma or HCC’s Adult High School or Career College Program, please call 627-4700.