College News

Lee Early College launches third year

Lee Early College launches third year

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CharmainernWilliams (left), giving an American Sign Language ‘P’ for ‘peace̵ ... (more)

Lee Early College launches third year

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Tania Brewington, teacher assistant, welcomes students to Lee Earlyrn College at an assemblyrnWedn ... (more)

Lee Early College launches third year

click to enlarge ⊗

Mathrnteacher John Howard answers students’ questions during the first day of classesrnWedne ... (more)

Lee Early College launches third year

click to enlarge ⊗

LeernEarly College Principal Mark West welcomes students to the college at anrnassembly Wednesday, ... (more)

Lee Early College launches third year

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Lee Early College students gather in small groups in the gymnasium at Central Carolina Community C ... (more)

08.07.2008Lee Early College

SANFORD — Shakeel Harrisrngreeted fellow students with a big smile and, sometimes, a hug as Lee Earlyrn College launched itsrnthird year Wednesday.

“I’m glad to be back,” he said as he mingled with oldrnfriends from last year and friends-to-be while the students signed in for theirrnfirst day of classes at the college, located on Central Carolinarn Community College’s LeernCounty Campus. “Leern Early Collegernis a great idea. It gives students who couldn’t otherwise go to college anrnopportunity to excel and succeed.”

Opportunity and choice — that is what Lee Early College is all about, according to MarkrnWest, the school’s new principal.

“I’m all for giving kids choice and opportunity,” West saidrnas he directed and assisted the arriving students. “I like the personal contactrnwith students that’s possible here. This position is a good match for me.”

Lee Early Collegernwas established in 2006 through an educational collaboration between Lee County Schools and Central Carolinarn Community College. It is a public high school, so itsrndemographics reflect Leern County’s. As a countyrnhigh school, students do not pay for tuition or books and it receives standardrnhigh school educational funding from the state. It also receives funding fromrnthe North Carolina New School Project, which encourages school districts tornwork with colleges and universities to improve and expand educationalrnopportunities for high school students.

Leern Early Collegernis also much more than a high school. Students must apply and be interviewedrnbefore being accepted as freshmen. They are selected on their ability tornbenefit from the school and thrive in the school-college environment, beingrntaught by both LCS teachers and CCCC instructors. After five years of studies,rnstudents graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree.

Wednesday, during the opening assembly, West introduced thernteachers. The returning students, who were already familiar with them,rnapplauded and cheered, bringing smiles to the teachers’ faces. West called thernteachers, “the front line for the best education you can get. They’re all aboutrnworking with you and getting you out the door with an associate degree.”

Dr. Lisa Chapman, Central Carolinarndean of University Transfer, Health Services, and Developmental Studies, andrnother college administrators welcomed the students to the campus.

“We know that the larger comprehensive high school designrndoes not meet the needs of every student,” Chapman said before the assembly.rn“LEC is a school of choice for some of those individuals. The smaller class andrnschool size combined with innovative instruction enhances the learningrnenvironment. It is certainly a great opportunity for students. Several havernalready represented the college and Lee County Schools well in publicrnpresentations and competitions, and we are very proud of them.”

Wednesday, 230 students reported for classes at the uniquernschool. When it opened, it had only freshmen, but is adding one grade at a timernas the students advance. Planned maximum enrollment is 400. This year’srnenrollment includes 80 freshman, 95 sophomores and 55 juniors.

The juniors were the original enrollees back in 2006.rnCaroline Griffith was one of them. She’s never regretted not attending a largernhigh school with the many extracurricular activities it offers.

“I’ve been with the college since it started and I knowrnwe’ve given up some of the fun things at a big school, but we’re having collegernand that will help us our entire life,” she said.

Then she looked around at the students andrnfaculty and added with a smile, “and Leern Early College is like a family.”