A Head Start for High
School Students at
On Monday, Aug. 26, Fayetteville Technical Community College welcomed nearly 600 high school students to campus for their first day of college. Most of these students are currently enrolled in the Cumberland County School System, although many of them also attended local private or home-school organizations. They arrived on campus ready and willing to take advantage of the tuition-free courses provided to them through FTCC’s High School Connections program.
High School Connections is the local branch of North Carolina’s Career and College Promise initiative, which allows current high school students to enroll in certain college classes without paying for tuition. Locally, FTCC recruits and enrolls high school juniors and seniors in a variety of college-transfer and/or career and technical education programs.
Students can choose to take college-transfer classes in the areas of Business and Economics, Humanities and Social Science, Engineering and Mathematics or Life and Health Sciences. These programs include the areas of English, math, science, history, psychology, economics and so forth. As outlined in the state-wide articulation agreement, these classes are all guaranteed to transfer seamlessly to any UNC school.
For the CTE programs, High School Connections offers more than two dozen choices for students. Some of the more popular programs for 2013-2014 include Nursing Assistant, Emergency Medical Science, Simulation and Game Development and Criminal Justice/Latent Evidence Technology. FTCC was pleased to offer several new HSC programs this year also, including Fire Protection Technology, Computer Programming, Basic Computer-Integrated Machining, Introduction to Criminal Justiceand Social Media. All of the programs available culminate in a college certificate upon completion and also offer the students a chance to “graduate” from FTCC prior to their high school graduation.
Students often jump at the chance to take college courses before finishing high school, and parents are generally impressed with the automatic tuition savings. Some families see the benefit in their student achieving early career training through the CTE programs, while others enjoy shaving off a few free credits here and there as their student contemplates that future doctorate degree in physics. Local high schools can reap the benefit of the program as well, since the students who attend classes at the college free up seats in over-crowded classrooms. Additionally, FTCC has the ability to offer course options that many local schools do not have the resources to provide, thus helping to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of our younger population. It goes without saying that the college itself enjoys increased enrollment, which often leads to increased awareness of its own full-time programs. In the end, the situation is a win for everyone involved.
When the high school students flooded FTCC’s campus on Aug. 26, it was the culmination of several months’ worth of hard work and planning on the part of many local counselors and administrators, as well as college staff and faculty. Recruitment for spring 2014 classes will be gearing up soon, so interested families are encouraged to visit the High School Connections website at www.faytechcc.edu/highschool_connections/index.aspx. Students can also follow us on Facebook (High School Connections) or on Twitter (@FTCCHSConnect) to get more information.