The Charleston County School District's deadline for applying for Early College High School is 6 p.m. Thursday.
Last September, the district's trustees voted to develop a model for Early College High School (ECHS) similar to a program available in Horry County. ECHS is for first-generation students bound for college, offering a chance to earn a high school diploma as well as an associate's or technical degree by the end of 12th grade.
The model is a partnership with Trident Technical College and will take place on the college's Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston.
“I think that for students who have never been exposed to college, talked about going college, had the opportunity to be on a college campus, nor had a hope and a dream to move on to something beyond high school, this is that opportunity,” Kim Wilson, the district's executive director of secondary learning, said. “The earlier we can get to these kids, the better chance we have of them graduating high school and actually moving on to some type of post-secondary education or some type of work related to the college work they will complete here. I think from a motivational point of view, if you tell me my son or daughter is going to go to high school on a college campus, that gets me excited.”
Opportunities are open to students throughout the district and transportation to the college campus will be provided. ECHS students will still be able to participate in their high school art and athletic programs.
“We are looking for those kids who are hard workers and have the ability to get the work done,” Wilson said. “They just need some support in place to help them be successful at whatever they decide to do, whether it’s a four-year college, two-year college, they go in to the workforce right after high school, or they join the military.”
To apply, visit www.ccsdschools.com and click on “Early College High School Application.”