Harnett County Schools is very excited to have submitted an Early College Application on September 15, 2016 with our Institution of Higher Education partner, Central Carolina Community College! An Early College is considered a Cooperative Innovative High School. Cooperative Innovative High Schools (CIHS) target students who are at risk of dropping out of high school, first-generation college students, and/or students who would benefit from accelerated learning opportunities. Harnett County Schools has been eager to apply since 2007; however, Central Carolina has had outstanding growth which limited facility capacity until the recent renovation of Dunn's historical Harnett Training Center. Harnett County Schools and Central Carolina submitted a letter of intent in April and the official application in September. Funding is contingent upon our NC General Assembly and our local County Commissioners. If approved by the Joint Advisory Committee and funded by the General Assembly, Harnett County Early College (HCEC) will open in the fall of the 2017-18 school year. Students in grades 9 and 10 will be eligible to apply in March 2017 through their school's registration process.
The Innovative Education Initiatives Act (SL 2003-277, Senate Bill 656) and the Cooperative Innovative High School Programs statute (§ 115C-238.50-.55) encourage Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to partner with their local postsecondary Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to provide cooperative programs jointly in high schools and colleges/universities that will expand students’ opportunities for education success through high-quality instructional programming. Cooperative Innovative High Schools provide opportunities which lead to stronger student outcomes - such as higher rates of academic achievement, graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Currently, there are 116 CIHS in North Carolina (pdf, 62kb) successfully serving 21,272 students (2015-16) with results as follows: