Spotlight - Early College Program

HS Diploma and Associate Degree at 18

HunterAfter several semesters of regular courses, summer courses and even some night courses, Hunter Street will graduate from Greenville Technical College Charter High School with his diploma and with a two-year Criminal Justice degree from Greenville Technical College – a big accomplishment for an 18 year old.

“Early College exposed me to the work load and what is expected in a college environment. I know what I have to do to be successful,” Street said. “For me, it’s all about the work ethic.”

It was a sacrifice. He carried heavy course loads that left little time for family vacations or other activities high school students normally take advantage of during the summer months. Street is planning to pursue a career in law enforcement and has been accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Professors in the Early College program play a huge part in students’ success by giving them freedom to explore their options, Street said. “Learning what you want to do is one of the most valuable aspects of the program. The professors are supportive and will lead you in the right direction.”

“If someone wants to be successful, this is a good way to do it.”

From Homeschool to Early College

As a parent who homeschools her children, Wendy McCarter is actively involved in her children’s education. When Wendy began researching dual credit program for her son, Daniel, she learned more about Early College at Greenville Technical College (GTC). Our Early College programs allows juniors and seniors to use their early dismissal from high school to take GTC classes in the afternoon or at their career center.

McCarter familyDaniel participated in the program at GTC for two semesters during his senior year of high school. The experience was a good one for both Daniel and Wendy. “We found the Early College program to be a great transition to the classroom setting for Daniel and a very good experience,” said Wendy. He enjoyed GTC and once he graduated, he enrolled at GTC as a University Transfer student. Now Daniel is a student at North Greenville University in Christian Studies.

Wendy was pleased that GTC was flexible and able to accommodate their needs. As a homeschool student, Daniel’s transcript needed to be sent from their homeschooling association. The Early College was able to work with Wendy’s family despite the different timeframe used by the association. “The advisor who assisted Daniel and me was very helpful in making decisions on the courses for him to take,” recalled Wendy.

Now Daniel’s sister, Carol Anna, is ready to attend Early College at GTC as well. As she prepares for her senior year, Carol Anna is interested in taking classes to earn college credit while still in high school. She plans to study to become a veterinary technician after graduation.

“Early College at Greenville Tech was the right choice for Daniel and we believe Carol Anna will have a similarly great experience as well,” said Wendy.

Early College Benefits Student & Parent

Jade CarpenterJade Carpenter is a real go-getter. By taking AP courses in high school and enrolling in Early College at Greenville Technical College (GTC), Jade was able to enter her first year at College of Charleston as a second semester sophomore.

Jade and her mother, Betsy, learned of the Early College program after hearing a representative speak at Jade’s high school. At first, they were hesitant because Betsy believed Jade would need to use one year of her Lottery Tuition Assistance to take the classes. Even after they learned she didn’t need to use a year of eligibility from the lottery program, Betsy thought the classes would be very expensive.

“I couldn’t believe how affordable the classes were,” recalled Betsy. “I wish we had learned of the program a year earlier so that Jade could have participated in her junior year as well.”

Jade and Betsy both felt it didn’t make sense for her to take classes in high school that she didn’t want or need. By enrolling in Early College at GTC, Jade was able to continue her preparations in a college classroom. “The program helped me in the transition from high school to college, particularly with how to study for college,” said Jade. “I really learned a lot from my French professor and enjoyed her classes.”

Having arrived in Charleston with her college credits will allow Jade to either double major or pursue two minors. “If I hadn’t had so many hours going in, I would not have the time to take extra classes that I enjoy,” said the elementary education major.

Both Jade and Betsy recommend Early College at GTC to other area students. “Parents and students need to be made aware of this great program and the benefits not only for the students, but for the parents as well. Jade gained college credit and an easier transition into college courses while we were able to save money on tuition,” said Betsy. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”