SCC Program Gives High Schoolers Jump-Start on Careers
BY KAREN MANNING
Sandhills Community College
For the county, state and country to remain economically competitive, the next generation of innovators must develop skills that will make them world leaders in productivity and innovation.
Problem-solving and critical-reasoning abilities will be paramount. They will need to be creative and sustain a deep love for continuous learning.
These pioneers — young scholars who will make meaningful, innovative, high-tech and highly skilled contributions to the global economy of the future — now have a clear path to college and career success through a special local collaboration.
The Palmer Foundation, Sandhills Community College and the Moore County school system have joined forces to create the Palmer Scholar program. This dynamic partnership provides a focused program to expose high school students to the fascinating and intriguing world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by integrating the “Project Lead the Way” curriculum and resources into the college engineering curriculum.
“The mission of the Palmer Foundation is to empower young people with the skills needed for tomorrow’s work force,” said Penny Enroth, CEO of the Palmer Foundation. “We are particularly proud that this program is the pilot program for the North Carolina community colleges’ High School STEM Initiative. It is also gratifying that the two Sandhills professors who trained for this program at Duke caught the vision of this curriculum’s potential for our area high school students.”
Rebecca Roush, dean of instruction, said the Palmer Scholar program is an exciting opportunity for both students and faculty.
“It has been a win-win situation for all involved,” she said. “The beauty of this program is that it provides opportunities for students who are interested in transferring to a four year school and for students who are interested in a vocational/technical career.”
Ron Layne, associate vice president of instruction said, “Few educational programs show the potential to restore American dominance in a world economy, but accelerated learning through STEM courses can help American youth bring this country back to that long-held status in a global market.”
Funding from the Palmer Foundation enabled the college to install a new high-tech lab and make a concentrated effort to encourage students to explore STEM-related fields. The classroom is equipped with the latest design software and cutting-edge equipment selected to introduce students to real-world challenges and opportunities in the areas of housing, health care, transportation, technology, energy and the environment.
Courses offered during the spring 2012 semester are introduction to engineering and civil/surveying CAD. Both courses incorporate a field trip to the N.C. State University engineering school. To provide an optimum learning environment, space is limited to 19 students per class.
Professor Dick Powell’s introduction to engineering (EGR 150) will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15 until 10:05 a.m. This is a college transfer course and is a required course for all N.C. engineering programs.
Both high school and college credits will be earned upon successful completion of the course. High school credit will include six quality points (the equivalent of an AP course).
Professor Ed Spitler’s civil/surveying CAD will meet each weekday from 3 until 3:50 p.m. This is a nontransferable college course and students receive both high school and college credits. High school credit includes five quality points (the equivalent of an honors course).
Anyone needing more information on registration and testing required to take a college course should contact Lauren Holland, SCC director of Moore County high school relations, who will work with each student and the assigned school counselor to coordinate enrollment.
She can be reached at (910) 695-3713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Manning is director of public relations and marketing for Sandhills Community College.
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