Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Program Allows NC High Schoolers to Enroll at Community Colleges for Free

For your future planning about your middle schoolers' high school years, which will be here before you know it....

Today North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue announced a new program that will allow eligible high school students to take classes at local community colleges for free.  The new Career & College Promise program, which consolidates and replaces previous dual enrollment programs, is designed to help students maximize their time in high school by taking community college courses that will give them a head start in either completing college or starting their careers after high school.

In the Career & College Promise programs, students are only eligible for the free community college enrollment if they maintain a B average, demonstrate capability for doing college-level work (largely determined by test scores), and continue to work towards their high school graduation requirements.  They can choose one of three paths:  (1) a college track that covers courses that will transfer to a four-year undergraduate institution; (2) a career track that includes classes and certifications in their designated profession, (3) for students enrolled in specified innovative high schools, students may be able to earn an associates degree at the same time as they complete their high school graduation requirements.

In the past, many homeschoolers have taken advantage of older free dual enrollment programs at community colleges.  However, my friends with high schoolers have told me it has been harder to get such classes because of budget cuts.  The official announcements from the Governor's office do not say specifically whether this program includes (or excludes) homeschooled students.  However, this page on the website of Durham Tech says that the program is available for any public, private, or homeschooled student.  So it appears that this program will include homeschoolers.  However, Durham Tech also says this replaces previous programs, so homeschoolers or other student categories, such as gifted and talented, will have to follow the rules under this program, rather than the previous systems to which they may be accustomed.

For more information, visit the Career & College Promise website, and/or watch the video below:

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