Central Virginia Community College
CVCC will graduate 25 Students from the Early College Program
Lynchburg, VA /Media Release/-- On May 14, Central Virginia Community College will graduate a unique group of younger students, along with the traditionally college-age and older students. College diplomas will be awarded to 25 young people who are participating in the CVCC Early College program. In this group, there are 23 students from Bedford and two from Appomattox. These ambitious individuals will have completed a two-year college degree while earning their high school diploma at the same time. In fact, they will pick up their CVCC diplomas in May and receive their high school diplomas the following month.
Thanks to the articulation agreements with a number of four-year colleges in the state, these Early College graduates may qualify to be placed as juniors in a variety of participating colleges, including the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Lynchburg College, VCU, JMU, Longwood, Radford, Liberty, and Christopher Newport. These institutions have discussed the program with CVCC and approved the Early College curriculum. Eleven students at Bedford have already won early admission to a four-year college, for the 2009-2010 academic year.
In addition to the this years graduating seniors, the program now has over 53 juniorsfrom Appomattox, Amherst, and Bedford--an enrollment that will more than double the graduation numbers next year. Another 100 high school students are now ready to enter the program. The recruitment and screening process has taken place, and there is currently a waiting list.
The CVCC Early College program began two years ago. The CVCC administration and faculty realized there were a number of young students who wanted more out of their high school experience, and who were enrolled classes at the College as well as in their respective high schools. One young woman, in particular, was already on the path to a two-year college degree, concurrent with her high school diploma. CVCC administration had seen the potential for this sort of program elsewhere and worked to make the program an official reality.
These students are very selectively screened. They have the highest grades (usually a 4.5 GPA), a maturity level, and a real enthusiasm for the program. Their CVCC class schedule makes room for the fact that they are still involved in high school activities. They have the opportunity to participate in high school sports, music, and clubs, and to have a normal life with their high school peers. In Bedford, the students come from three different high schools, so they actually expand their contact with people their own age, as well as experiencing the variety of ages at the College.
The program is a monetary savings for the parents and gives students a chance to preview future educational possibilities. The cost of the classes, for an Early College student, is typically shared 50/50 by the student and the public school system, because it is part of their secondary school education. And the CVCC classes are far less expensive than the cost of similar first and second year classes at a four-year institution. As an added benefit, students have the opportunity to try out college classes at an earlier age and explore an area of interest before taking expensive classes at four-year institutions.
Kelsey Shelton, an Early College student at the CVCC Bedford Center, says, I call it a mini-step to college. Im not going from high school straight to college, where I have to take on all the responsibilities and learn all the lessons as soon as I get there. I will already have had the exposure to professors, different techniques of teaching, and a greater workload with a smaller amount of time. I feel I have had all the advantages of high school, I still compete in high school sports, but I have learned how to manage my time while still being able to go home at the end of the day.
Kelsey plans to go to Lynchburg College and is already thinking about earning doctorate in physical therapy. She says that she will be taking on the greater freedom and personal responsibility of college classes as someone who has already learned what to expect. With
her plans to eventually attend graduate school, she has already begun to find her educational path in life, thanks to her own fine accomplishments and the inspiration of the CVCC Early College program.
Release Date: 10:00 AM (EST) 04/03/09
Release Number: 090403.earlycollege
Coordinator, Public Relations and Marketing
Central Virginia Community College
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