First Cohort of SandHoke Students to Graduate
Not only will Sandhills Community College celebrate the end of another successful academic year with 675 candidates for graduation - the largest number of students to graduate in the college's 48-year history - the first cohort of SandHoke Early College High School students will graduate.
Commencement will be held on the Boyd Library Green at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14.
SandHoke is a free, innovative educational program that makes it possible for first-generation college students to earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree within five years of entering ninth grade. These students will have two graduations - one from SandHoke and a second from Sandhills. This will place them at least two years ahead of traditional high school students and will save them and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.
The personnel offices, meeting facilities and study areas for SandHoke is located in Blue Hall on the Sandhills campus. One large wall is filled with the students' acceptance letters from universities throughout the nation.
The impressive success of SandHoke students' college acceptance speaks volumes about the program. Thirty-four students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree - 22 Associate in Arts degrees, 10 Associate in Science, and one Associate in Fine Arts. One student will finish with a transfer core diploma and four students will graduate with a high school diploma and numerous semester hours of transferable college credits.
"I was a counselor for four years at Pinecrest High School, taught English for one year in Thailand, and returned to Pinecrest for one year, before coming to SandHoke," said Eric Richardson, director of high school and college relations. "I am excited to be part of something new and different. This innovative program allows me to be creative and provide input. The intimate cohort size is very conducive to teaching and learning.
"SandHoke is beneficial for any student," Richardson continued. "Since the program began five years ago, no student has dropped out of school, and only a few students left the program and returned to a traditional school. We are all very proud of this success."
Two students, Aaron Nelson and Joshua Harris, both of Raeford, were accepted by every university to which they applied. Nelson has been accepted to attend the University of Minnesota, East Carolina University, Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Harris has been accepted to North Carolina State University, Campbell University, East Carolina University, Hampton University (Va.), North Carolina Central University, Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nelson, who was part of the first SandHoke ninth-grade class, is graduating with a high school diploma and an associate's degree. He earned a 4.4 weighted GPA (3.8 unweighted) and scored 1940 on the SAT.
Nelson will major in computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He flourished in small classes.
"I liked it that the teachers were really involved with us throughout our education," he said.
His sister, Casey, also attends SandHoke and is currently in the 10th grade.
"My parents have been so happy with this experience," Nelson continued. "They figure that SandHoke saved them $40,000 in college expenses."
"I believe that I am in a much better position than if I had attended a traditional high school," Harris said.
During his studies, Harris participated in the North Carolina Section Project SEED program, a statewide, year-round science enrichment internship program. This program financially supports and encourages talented, disadvantaged North Carolina high school students to pursue terminal graduate and professional school degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) disciplines through a scientific research internship experience.
Each student is involved in a research project in chemistry or chemistry-related sciences under the guidance and supervision of an experienced scientist from Duke University, North Carolina State University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Project SEED provides students with SAT prep classes and also helps students to attain scholarships and college admissions.
Harris finished the five-year early college high school program in just four years, earning his high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree. He credits SandHoke and his SEED internship for encouraging him to major in chemistry at Wake Forest University and inspiring him to pursue a career in pharmacy.
Sandhoke started in 2006, thanks to a unique partnership between Sandhills Community College and the Hoke County School System. Today, there are nearly 220 students enrolled in the program.
For more information about SandHoke, contact Eric Richardson, director of high school and college relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 878-5804 or (910) 246-4976.
Summer and Fall Semesters
Now is the time to begin the registration process to attend Sandhills Community College this summer or fall semester. Summer classes begin Tuesday, May 24. Fall semester begins on Monday, Aug. 15.
Sandhills has an "open-door" admission policy. This means that a high school graduate or anyone 16 years or older can attend Sandhills. It takes just five, easy steps to attend college at Sandhills. Apply online or at Student Services in Stone Hall, request transcript(s) from past colleges or high school, take the Accuplacer assessment at the college, meet for pre-advisement and register for classes.
Students are not required to take standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT to enroll. However, the college can use those scores for class placement. Sandhills offers the Acuplacer, a placement assessment tool that is used to make sure that students begin at the proper level classes.
Those who are 18 years or older and do not have a high school diploma, GED or adult high school diploma should consider Adult Basic Education, GED certification or Adult High School classes that are offered through the college's Continuing Education Division. Sandhills GED graduates qualify for a $250 scholarship if they move into a curriculum program at the college.
All information about attending Sandhills can be found on the college website: www.sandhills.edu or contact the Admissions Office at (910) 695-3781 for curriculum program and class information.
More like this story