SCC Program Focus of N.Y. Times Story
Sandhills Community College has received some national publicity for the opportunities it extends high school students in the region.
The New York Times recently published a story about the SandHoke Early College High School, a partnership between SCC and the Hoke County school system. It offers a five-year program that allows students to earn a high-school diploma and associate’s degree from Sandhills simultaneously. Click here for story.
The SandHoke initiative is one of several programs the college offers that allow high school students get a jump-start on their college education. It can be a defined program like SandHoke or simply an a la carte selection of different courses.
“We do offer lots of different programs for high school students, not just Hoke County students, but Moore County students as well,” SCC President John Dempsey said. “Some are more structured than others. But the fundamental purpose of all of them is to give students a chance to get some college credits under their belts while they’re in high school.”
Dempsey said that as high school winds down, especially at the end of 12th grade, students have more free time on their hands. Allowing those students to take courses at SCC helps them fill up that free time and gives them a leg up on college.
A wide range of options are popular with both parents and students. Perhaps the most attractive part of the program is that the Moore County school system and SCC have partnered to make the courses free of charge.
“We’re offering these courses because we think it’s important for the students,” he said.
The idea started several years ago with students at The O’Neal School and Pinecrest, because of their proximity to the Sandhills campus. Those students basically filled up empty seats in certain classes, Dempsey said. But the concept began to gain more and more momentum, and the principals of the area’s high schools began asking for more.
Now several hundred students in both Moore and Hoke counties take classes at SCC in one form or another. They are offered at the college’s main campus, at the high schools or online.
Dempsey said more and more students are taking longer than four years to graduate from college. If they can complete a semester’s worth of work at Sandhills before even going off to school, he said, it can increase their chances of graduating on time.
Regular Sandhills faculty members teach most of the courses, Dempsey said. By exposing high schoolers to campus life at SCC, he said, it could encourage them to pursue their higher education there.
“I think the experience students have is a good one,” he said.
For a national newspaper like The Times to pick up on the college’s work is exciting for Dempsey, the Board of Trustees and the rest of the Sandhills community. Having the Hoke County program recognized is particularly gratifying, Dempsey said, because it extends the college’s recognition beyond the Moore County campus.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to do this for those kids in that community,” he said. “We’re very proud of that.
“[National publicity] not only enhances the program, it enhances the reputation of the college in general.”
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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