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Did you know that Wilson Community College has a program for high school students to earn college credit for free?
The Career and College Promise program enables more than 400 Wilson County high school juniors and seniors each year take tuition-free college classes. CCP provides opportunities for eligible high school students to take college courses for dual credit (high school and college at the same time). In fact, we have some high school graduates who have received enough transfer credits that equates to their entire freshman year at a four-year institution because of this program.
Taking these courses not only accelerates completion of community college certificates, diplomas and associate degrees that provide job skills, but also provides college transfer credits toward four-year college and university bachelor’s degrees.
And CCP is not just for students in public schools. We see students from public, private, charter and homeschools across Wilson County. Students may take courses face-to-face on the college campus, or completely online, or as a combination of the two, called hybrids. They choose a pathway based on their future career interests (comparable to a college major) and take classes toward that academic goal.
During the 2018-19 school year, there were 397 CCP students enrolled, and for 2019-20 there are 491. On average, each student earns about seven credits per school year. But some earn much more: Last year, two students completed the entire College Transfer Pathway, earning them about one whole year of credit at the university they planned to attend. Five students finished the medical office administration pathway, completing 12 credit hours of work toward that popular two-year degree. And many of those students are still able to participate in their high school extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports.
So, to summarize the benefits of CCP for high school students:
• It’s a huge cost savings. The classes are completely free, and in many cases the books and supplies are free too. A year’s tuition, books, room and board at a public university will run upwards of $15-20K per year, and at a private college about $40K or more.
• CCP challenges and engages their minds. They are taught by highly qualified WCC faculty who hold degrees from across the state and the nation — from East Carolina University, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke to the University of California and University of Nebraska to the University of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
• It gives students the invaluable experience of college studying and workload. They get to see what’s going to be expected of them before moving on to become full-time, independent college students.
To be eligible to enter as a CCP student, you must be a high school junior or senior, have an unweighted GPA of 2.8 or higher, or demonstrate you are college-ready based on scores in English, reading and math on approved assessments. If you are a high school student or a parent of a high school student, contact Trish Holsten, secondary partnerships director, at 252-246-1250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Today — Nursing program information sessions, noon and 6 p.m.
• Monday, Jan. 20 — College closed for MLK holiday.
Jessica Bailey is the director of institutional advancement at Wilson Community College. She can be reached at email@example.com or 252-246-1271.