‘Building that well-rounded repertoire’ – Career and College Promise options expand at SCC

Offering coursework in the College Transfer and Career and Technical Education paths at Southeastern Community College, the Career and College Promise program’s main goal is to save time and money for students while exposing them to possible career options. Whether high school students are earning college credits or preparing for the workforce, CCP’s expansion with mobile lab technology and curriculum course choices makes it more valuable than ever.  

“Career and College Promise classes are a great way for high school students to see what college-level academic work is like without all the pressures of a university setting,” said Elizabeth High, dean of student learning and innovation. “Students can even participate in college classes without ever having to leave their high school campus.” 

High said that SCC’s experienced advisors can help students decide what pathway fits them best and how many classes they should take to accomplish their plan. She explained that whether a student wants to start slowly or accelerate towards a credential, the CCP experience is tailored to each student’s individual goals.  

“Our fall 2023 semester has been huge for the CCP program,” High said. “In university transfer classes alone, we’ve offered 10 classes on four high school campuses, and spring promises to be just as great. Students can choose from public speaking, philosophy, math, English or chemistry to name a few.” 

Angie Ransom, dean of business careers and technical programs, said that CCP offerings expanded at the county high schools to include early childhood education, engineering, HVAC-R and welding. She explained that students are acquiring the necessary skills and third-party credentials to enter the workforce. 

“With support from the Columbus County Commissioners, electrical upgrades have been completed at each of the local high schools,” Ransom said. “These upgrades allow us to implement the use of our welding mobile lab.”  

Ransom said that both mobile labs will be at every high school campus in Columbus County. The mobile labs allow students to begin studying engineering, HVAC-R and welding and never leave their high school campus. Students are also completing pre-apprenticeship coursework, which can lead to paid internships and apprenticeships. 

“Teaching at the area high schools this semester has been an awesome experience and has given our local students a chance to see what they can become,” said Josh Snyder, advanced manufacturing technology instructor. “The workforce development mobile lab played a significant role in bringing this experience to multiple area high schools.” 

Snyder explained that his students experimented and built projects with the newest technology. He said the equipment provided students with the same education and training traditional students would receive on campus. During the fall semester, Snyder traveled to East Columbus Jr./Sr. High School and Thomas Academy with the mobile lab, where he taught hydraulics, pneumatics and pathway to employment courses.   

“With the variety of classes offered this semester, it met students where they were and offered them something more,” Snyder said. “The best part is that the students earned college credit while unlocking lifelong skills into technical fields.” 

English instructor Anna Richardson explained that CCP courses like ENG 111 offer students advanced and relevant course work that not only helps them achieve their academic goals but also explore diverse academic interests and potential career paths. 

“I had a wonderful fall semester with the exceptionally bright and hardworking students at Whiteville High School,” Richardson said. “Through our unit studies on smartphone addiction, America’s fentanyl crisis and the potential banning of TikTok, we explored current social issues while also learning the fundamentals of essay writing and documentation.”  

Richardson said the CCP program helps reduce the cost of a college degree and can make post-secondary education a viable option for students who may face financial obstacles.   

“Being a successful student or a student with an ‘edge’ oftentimes translates into having exposure to diverse experiences,” said Nicky Hobbs, math instructor. “I would argue that taking college courses while in high school is part of building that well-rounded repertoire.” 

Hobbs explained that high school students who take college courses are getting a huge jump on their college and work career. Many students are trimming one to two years from their college work. During the fall semester, Hobbs traveled to East Columbus Jr./Sr. High School to teach a college math course.  

“At SCC, I have high school students in almost every class I teach,” Hobbs said. “As we progress through the course, I see the transformation in the students as they learn how to adapt to college coursework and expectations.”  

To learn more about the Career and College Promise program at SCC, contact Student Advisor Natalie Freeman at natalie.freeman@sccnc.edu or call 910-642-7141 ext. 285.