LCPS students are graduating high school with diplomas — and degrees

LCPS students are graduating high school with diplomas — and degrees

From left, North Lenoir seniors Conner Craft, Matthew Glen and Adriana Gaona.

Local high school seniors are graduating with associate degrees. Dual enrollment has been an opportunity for North Carolina high school students for around 10 years, but the rules have changed over time.

Lenoir Community College professors travel to North Lenoir High School to teach college classes. There are also LCC classes on their campus that are available to the students.

“At this time there are about 250 NLHS students taking LCC classes,” NL counselor Jennifer Hollingsworth said.

North Lenoir senior Conner Craft believes the dual enrollment program was completely worthwhile.

“We were able to come in as freshman and start taking college courses as a sophomore,” she said.

Because she was able to get prerequisite classes out of the way, she was able to finish high school with an associates degree. This enabled her to save money and get ahead in her college education. Now, she’ll be a junior in her second semester of N.C. State, where she will be pursuing a degree in chemical engineering.

“It caught me by surprise that I would finish high school with an associate degree in art, as well as an associate degree in Science,” North Lenoir senior Adriana Gaona said.

As a freshman, she took all the math classes needed for her to graduate, as well as combining AP classes with college courses offered at LCC. Gaona will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall, and although she will attend all four years, the additional credits she took in high school will make the journey toward her degree in biomedical engineering easier.

Matthew Glen, also a senior at North Lenoir, said it’s a great opportunity to see how college works.

“(It prepares) yourself to figure out what you want to do in college,” he said.

He would advise incoming freshman to think about what they want to do and prepare themselves for what’s best for them. Though it was not easy taking college courses along with high school courses, Glenn believes he found a balance by putting school first. He will be going to N.C. State for aerospace engineering.

Hollingsworth works with students defining their high school pathway which accounts for their first 30 credit hours. Then the students will transition to Athena Wilson, the High School Programs Coordinator/Counselor at LCC. Wilson assists with their transition from high school students to the college of their choosing to ensure their credits transfer with ease.

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