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05-14-14-ftcc.gifLocal high school students in the Fayetteville area have a unique opportunity at their fingertips for earning free college credit. Fayetteville Technical Community College is one of 58 community colleges in North Carolina that offers free dual-enrollment credit to high school juniors and seniors. This feat is achieved through state legislation known as Career & College Promise. Locally, this program is known as High School Connections, and over 650 high school students have enrolled in free college classes during the current spring 2014 semester.

Many students can benefit from High School Connections (HSC). Some students are looking to get a jump-start on their two- or four-year degree options by taking general education courses. For 2014-2015, High School Connections will offer a wealth of options for these students, including English, mathematics, history, science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, political science, public speaking, and art and music courses. Students wishing to enroll in these courses must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and meet testing requirements based on their PSAT, PLAN, SAT, or ACT scores.

Other students in the HSC program might be looking to accomplish early career training. To that end, FTCC offers 27 different Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses. Courses range from accounting to welding and everything in between. Students who successfully complete one of these CTE programs are invited to attend FTCC’s graduation ceremony held in May of each year. For this year’s graduation, over 150 students are qualified to “graduate” from FTCC before they even complete their high school education!.

FTCC is a very affordable option for a college education, especially when compared to the cost of a four-year degree, whether public or private. HSC can help cut this cost even further; for each individual course taken in the high school years, a family is saving over two hundred dollars. High school students typically take two or three courses each semester at FTCC, which can really add up to savings over the course of their junior and senior years. To be financially savvy, students can start their college education through High School Connections and then enroll in FTCC full-time after they complete their high school education. Then, for completing a four-year degree, FTCC offers several transferrable associate’s degrees for students who wish to continue their education beyond FTCC.

Students and parents who would like to learn more about what the High School Connections program can offer are invited to visit our website. At this site, students can get more information about the specific requirements and how to enroll, and they can also view all of the programs we offer to see what might pique their interest. In most cases, students can start the enrollment paperwork in their high school’s guidance office, but FTCC is always available and willing to help answer any questions. Check our Website for information about High School Connections as well as summer and fall 2014 registration.

www.faytechcc.edu/highschool_connections/index.aspx.

Photo: Local high school students have an opportu-nity to earn college credits at FTCC.

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