CCC&TI offers college classes to high school students
by Anna Oakes
As area high school students register for next year's courses, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute reminds students and parents about tuition-free classes to jump-start a college education or career.
Career and College Promise provides dual enrollment opportunities to Watauga High School students to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas and associate's degrees that lead to college transfers or provide entry-level job skills.
"As parents learn more about this program, especially the cost- and time-saving benefits, enrollment will increase, better preparing WHS students for life after high school," said Beth Watts, transition advisor at Watauga High School.
CCC&TI offers Career and College Promise classes to high school juniors and seniors with a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher. WHS and CCC&TI are working to expand the program to freshmen and sophomores in the future.
WHS is currently in the registration process, and registration for Career and College Promise courses begins April 8, Watts said. Interested students should see their grade-level school counselor or Watts in the WHS Career Center. Home-schooled students are also eligible and may contact Watts to enroll.
Classes offered include many of the core general education courses required during the first two years of a four-year degree. State-supported institutions will accept transfer credits from the Career and College Promise program, Watts said. Many in-state private colleges will also accept the credits, but Watts encourages students to contact their admissions offices to determine how the credits will be applied.
"Colleges and universities want to see that applicants have challenged themselves," said Watts. "By taking Career and College Promise courses, students show academic rigor and dedication to their education."
In addition, various certificates are offered through the Career and Technical Education Department.
"We ... are working to expand the certificates offered," said Watts.
A newly added program is the WHS Fire Academy, which will allow high school seniors to obtain four certificates in firefighter training, including Firefighter Level I & II.
Participating students take classes either at WHS or at CCC&TI's Watauga campus. Tuition is free, but students pay for books and other course-related materials. Watauga County Schools cover any other student fees.
WHS began offering the program in August 2012. It replaces the former Huskins and Learn and Earn online programs, combining all dual enrollment programs under one umbrella, Watts said.
"As we are still working to promote this program, I think word of mouth has been very helpful, but more information needs to be spread throughout the county," she said.