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Cabarrus Magazine

Cox Mill High School Graduate in Second Year of College Thanks to Rowan-Cabarrus Community Career & College Promise Program

May 23, 2017 08:53PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Michael Walker, a 2015 graduate of Cox Mill High School in Concord, also graduated with transferable college courses under his belt by taking advantage of the Career & 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 Career and College Promise program is a tuition-free program for high school juniors and seniors that gives students the opportunity to get a “jump start” on a two-year 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 a great 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,” said Walker. “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 very involved in their current high school. They can still play sports and engage in all of the regular extracurricular activities while taking college and high school courses simultaneously.
Walker worked with his high school guidance counselor and Rowan-Cabarrus counselors to strategically plan his courses based on the transfer equivalency at UNC.
Walker 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 he 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 Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.
In addition to the college transfer classes, Rowan-Cabarrus offers options for students to get a head start in careers like fire protection, criminal justice, machining, cosmetology, web technologies, welding and more.
The College has improved its offerings by 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 seamlessly 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 currently registering students for the fall 2017 semester. For more program information and course descriptions, please see the Rowan-Cabarrus website – – or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). High school students should also speak with their guidance counselor.

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Opening its doors in 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is one of 58 colleges in the state-supported North Carolina Community College System. Rowan-Cabarrus is a comprehensive, community-focused institution of higher learning, serving the residents of Rowan and Cabarrus counties at multiple campus locations and through on-line programs. Rowan-Cabarrus offers fully-accredited associate degree programs in more than 30 areas of study, including arts and sciences, business, information technology, health and public services, engineering technologies, and biotechnology, as well as dozens of diplomas and certifications.

Rowan-Cabarrus provides more than 2,000 course offerings, serving a yearly overall enrollment of more than 20,000 students. In addition, Rowan-Cabarrus provides the education and job-training programs needed to meet many of the workforce demands of the North Carolina Research Campus being developed in Kannapolis.

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