Batesburg-Leesville High School is partnering with Midlands Technical College to provide an Early College Program at B-L High beginning in the fall of 2016. “e21 Academy” (engaging learners in a 21st century education) will be open to rising 10th graders. The goal is to have 25 rising sophomores participate in the program and the cohort members must take a minimum of 2 classes per semester.
The vision of the program is to create a cohort for early college to provide Batesburg-Leesville High students with increased dual-enrollment opportunities, certificate options, and an opportunity to earn an Associate in Arts Degree in addition to a high school diploma. By earning an associate’s degree while also earning a high school diploma, students and their parents will save college tuition fees and advance students in their college experience.
In order to participate in the Early College Program at Batesburg-Leesville High, students must meet all requirements for admission to Midlands Technical College. This includes passing scores on the COMPASS writing, reading, and math assessments. Students must also be in good standing with Batesburg-Leesville High School (“B” average or above, attendance, and discipline). Students must maintain a “C” average in all MTC courses and have good attendance.
The e21 Academy will allow motivated high school students the opportunity to get a head start on their college education before graduating from high school earning up to an Associate in Arts Degree. Early College helps ease the transition from high school to college by giving students direct exposure to challenging college-level courses taught by actual college professors.
Early College courses will be free if the courses are taken on the campus of B-L High. Two courses taken at Midlands Tech normally cost approximately $1300 plus the cost of textbooks. For high school students to be eligible for “Lottery Tuition Assistance,” they must be enrolled in a high school dual enrollment program such as e21 Academy. Courses will be on-site at B-L High. Transportation will be provided to Midlands Technical College – Batesburg-Leesville branch if needed. Textbooks will be provided to students at no cost, unless books are lost or not re-usable. The textbooks will be provided by Lexington 3.
On January 11, an informational meeting was held at B-L High for students and their parents who were interested in learning more about this exciting program. District and high school administrators and a representative from Midlands Technical College were on hand to provide those in attendance with the information that need in order to decide if Early College is right for them. Another informational session will be held on Monday, February 8 for other interested students and parents to attend.
B-L High principal Pat Padgett shared information with the audience as to why Early College is a good opportunity for students. Some of the reasons included:
Mr. Padgett also talked about the transferring of Early College credits. He stated:
Students who enroll in Early College courses must commit to participate for the entire semester. Due to financial commitment, students will not be allowed to drop Early College courses after the date on their “Letter of Enrollment” without penalty. (Penalty will include a grade of withdraw/failure on transcript and repayment of tuition and book fees.)
Students and parents are encouraged to contact the Batesburg-Leesville High School guidance department for more information and application for the e21 Academy. Application packets are due on January 29 and February 26 and MTC college placement tests must be completed by March 15, 2016.