Vance-Granville Community College is preparing to offer new options for area high school students to get college credits, tuition-free, as part of a new statewide program. The “Career & College Promise” program comes into effect Jan. 1, 2012. This new umbrella program consolidates and replaces the various high school-college partnership programs that previously existed. CCP offers three pathways for eligible high school-age students. Two are open to eligible high school juniors and seniors: the College Transfer pathway, in which students earn credits toward a four-year degree; and the Technical Careers pathway, in which students work toward an entry-level job credential, certificate or diploma in a technical career. The third, the Cooperative Innovative High Schools pathway, involves attending particular schools, such as the four Early College High Schools that VGCC operates in partnership with local school systems, starting as a freshman.
“Career & College Promise provides a new structure that lets qualified high school students accelerate their work toward college degrees or technical education certificates or diplomas, tuition-free,” said Dr. Scott Ralls, President of the N.C. Community College System. “Career & College Promise will save students time and money and allow North Carolina high school students to move forward on well-defined pathways. It is an efficient and effective way to further student success.”
Students who select the College Transfer option will take some or all of the so-called “Core 44” hours of general education credits that will transfer seamlessly to any public or participating private college or university. Within this pathway, VGCC will offer four programs of study: Business and Economics; Engineering and Mathematics; Humanities and Social Science; and Life and Health Sciences. Each program of study is a specific sequence of courses.
VGCC’s programs within the Technical Careers Pathway will include certificates in Business Management, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement), Security Specialist, Software Specialist and Web Design Specialist. Like College Transfer general-education courses, these programs are available for other VGCC students as well. All VGCC offerings are expected to be formally approved by the state and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools soon.
“Through these pathways, local students who meet certain eligibility requirements have several opportunities,” said Dr. Rodney Foth, VGCC’s interim vice president of instruction. “First, they can take advantage of our small classes and experienced instructors and put themselves a step ahead when they get to any university. Second, they can start a technical program and later complete it right here at VGCC after graduation, saving themselves time and money. Third, they can enroll in an Early College High School to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit at the same time, over a five-year period. Either way, this is a positive development for students and a continuation of VGCC’s strong partnerships with high schools.”
Students and parents should talk with their school guidance counselors about how to participate in CCP courses at VGCC.