RALEIGH - Free online classes are available to high school students this fall at North Carolina's community colleges through the innovative Career & College Promise dual enrollment program.
Last year, about 59,000 high school students across the state took these courses, which save time and money toward a college degree.
Transfer courses are weighted the same as Advanced Placement for grade point averages on high school transcripts. Some students earn enough credits for a community college degree or credential by the time they graduate from high school.
"The affordable path to a college degree starts in high school at our state's 58 community colleges," said Bill Carver, interim president of the NC Community College System. "We are doing everything we can to serve all students during the pandemic, and that includes high school students who want to get a jump on a college education. School districts and community colleges are partners in this important effort."
This fall, Career & College Promise (CCP) classes will be largely taught online to maintain a safe environment. Community college faculty have experience teaching in the format; nearly one-third of community college instruction was delivered online before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many high school students across the state will already be taking their high school classes online, at least at the start of the school year. They can also gain free college credit by enrolling in courses at their local community college.
"Career & College Promise provides students with the opportunity to earn college credit from highly qualified faculty in a flexible online environment," said Kimberly Gold, senior vice president and chief academic officer of the NC Community College System. "Through CCP, students can further their educational goals in preparation for transfer to a four-year university or develop skills to enter the job market. As families are looking for options for education, CCP is one way to keep students moving forward toward their future careers."
Students can contact their school counselors or local community college to enroll in Career & College Promise classes.
Participating in CCP gives high school students a leg up on their transition to higher education, say school officials.
"We encourage students to take rigorous classes to prepare for their future, and Career & College Promise is a fantastic opportunity for students to earn college credit in high school," said Jack Hoke, executive director of the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association. "Working together, our high schools and community colleges provide a solid foundation for students to reach their full potential."