UNC student benefitted from RCCC Career and College Promise program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

CONCORD — Michael Walker, a 2015 graduate of Cox Mill High School in Concord, graduated with transferable college courses under his belt by taking advantage of the Career and College Promise program offered by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“The program interested me because I wanted to shorten the time and money spent on my undergraduate education,” said Walker.

The program is a tuition-free opportunity for high school juniors and seniors that gives students a jump start on a two- or four-year degree while still in high school.

The college transfer classes are free for high school juniors and seniors and are weighted just like honors classes, making them an alternative to Advanced Placement courses.

“I believe these courses not only helped with my admittance to UNC but gave me a leg up with the college experience as a whole,” Walker said. “All of the courses that I took at Rowan-Cabarrus transferred seamlessly.”

Unlike the early college high school programs, Career & College Promise allows students to remain involved in their current high school. They can still play sports and take part in extracurricular activities while taking college and high school courses.

Walker worked with his high school guidance counselor and Rowan-Cabarrus counselors to plan his courses based on the transfer equivalency at UNC. He took many general education courses, essentially cutting his time at UNC to just two and a half years.

Now, Walker’s brother is a high school senior and Walker is helping him navigate the Career & College Promise program.

“My brother knew that he wanted to participate in the Career & College Promise program but didn’t know where to begin,” said Walker. “I told him to talk with his guidance counselor, and they helped him select his courses by looking up the transfer equivalency table of the university he wanted to attend.”

There are two tracks for the Career & College Promise program. One allows students to specialize in a career or technical pathway, while the other allows students to prepare for general transfer into a four-year college or university. Students can take as many classes, earning college and high school credit simultaneously, as their high school will allow. This fall, one student took four classes.

“The other perk of this opportunity is getting to experience real college classes. Students ultimately feel better prepared when they head off to a four-year college or university because they’re already confident in their ability to do college work,” said RCCC President Carol S. Spalding.

In addition to the college transfer classes, Rowan-Cabarrus offers options for students to get a head start in careers such as fire protection, criminal justice, machining, cosmetology, web technologies, welding and more.

The college is providing dedicated classes and sections that fall within the high school schedule in both counties. These classes include English, sociology and other core transfer classes that transfer within the North Carolina university system.

Upon meeting eligibility requirements, students may enroll in a college transfer pathway or a career-technical pathway. Students also have the option to change pathways of study each semester.

The college is now registering students for the fall semester. For more information and course descriptions, visit the Rowan-Cabarrus website – www.rccc.edu – or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). High school students should also speak with their guidance counselor.