ELIZABETHTOWN — At its January meeting, the Bladen County Board of Education approved West Bladen High School Assistant Principal Rodney Smith as the new Bladen Early College High School principal.
Bladen County Schools, along with Bladen Community College, will open the Bladen Early College High School on the campus of Bladen Community College in August 2018 to its first class of rising high-school freshmen.
The Early College High School Initiative allows students to receive a high school diploma and an associate degree, or up to two years of transferable college credit, by taking a combination of high school and college classes over a four- to five-year period. This differs from dual enrollment, where students are enrolled in a traditional high school and take college classes, whereas early college students take high school classes in preparation for full college workloads.
“Our goal at Bladen Early College High School is a learning environment that will change lives and create opportunities for all students in Bladen County,” Smith said. “I am excited about partnering with the community college and the parents of Bladen County to ensure that our students are college and career ready. Our goal is for the students to possess critical thinking skills, academic knowledge, technological skills and be ready to meet the needs of their community.”
The Bladen Early College High School will offer four curriculum pathways for students in Allied Health: CNA and EMS, Information Technology, Industrial Technology and Machining, and an Associate in Science.
Interested parents and eighth-grade students are invited to attend a Bladen Early College High School Parent University information session on Monday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Bladen Community College.
Designated funding for Early College is allotted by the North Carolina General Assembly from the Cooperative Innovative High School Programs.
Valerie Newton is the public information and information officer for Bladen County Schools.