‘Innovative high school’ offers college classes and more

Commentary by Sabrina Otero
Times-News correspondent

   Though the Career and College Promise program and innovative high schools may seem similar, they have many differences. As opposed to Career and College Promise, the program that replaced duel enrollment, innovative high schools don’t make you stick to a narrow “plan” and allow students to partake in a variety of classes. Books are supplied with no cost to the students or their families. The student has more options on how many classes they may take. Teens & Twenties recently got to sit down with Bonnie Roane, principal of Alamance-Burlington Middle College located in Alamance Community College in Haw River to learn more:
Teens & Twenties: Is Alamance-Burlington Middle College (ABMC ) considered an “innovative high school” under the definition of the Career College Promise?
Roane: ABMC is considered an innovative high school.
Teens & Twenties: What advantages does ABMC have over conventional schooling?
Roane: The advantages that ABMC offers are the following:
Flexible schedules to accommodate each student’s individual needs and interests
College classes on the same campus as your high school classes
Free textbooks and free college classes
Ability to take either university transfer classes or certification classes or both at the same time if e. a student has interests in both areas.
High school calendar that is closely aligned with the community college calendar. (This definitely helps students in high school who are taking classes.
   Teens & Twenties: What advantages does ABMC have over traditional schools enrolled in the Career College Promise?
Roane: Our scheduling is much more flexible to meet each student’s individual needs and interests in college classes. Our calendar is more closely aligned with the community college. Our students can take any kind of class offered at Alamance Community College (ACC) that they qualify to take. They do not have to choose a diploma pathway.
Teens & Twenties: What is the maximum number of college credits that a college student can graduate with?
Roane: The number of college credits a student can graduate with depends on when a student enters middle college. A student who comes to middle college during the second semester of their sophomore year has the ability to earn credit for as many as 14 college classes or 42 hours of college credit. College credit is based on hours. Most classes earn three hours of credit. Some classes earn four hours of credit. You must take at least 12 hours a semester to be considered a full time college student. Most college students take eight to 10 classes their freshman year. That means that a middle college student has the potential to earn a year and a half of college credit during their middle college experience.
Teens & Twenties: What types of projects, tournaments, internships and programs can ABMC students enroll in that conventional schooling can’t?
Roane: Middle college students have the same opportunities as other high school students. Our middle college students participating in ACC’s Stem Cell Research grant for high school students have the advantage of already being on ACC’s campus for their classes.

 Sabrina Otero is a rising junior at the Alamance-Burlington Middle College
and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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