Early College Program Aims To Improve Male Graduation Rate - WSPA.com

Early College Program Aims To Improve Male Graduation Rate

Posted: Updated:
Male students enrolled in the Viking Early College will be able to get their high school diploma at the same time earn college credit. Male students enrolled in the Viking Early College will be able to get their high school diploma at the same time earn college credit.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Most students can take college-level courses in high school, although many people think Advance Placement (AP) classes are only for overachieving students.

But that's not true of a new program being launched in Spartanburg School District 7.

Viking Early College will allow students to earn two years of college credits or the equivalent of an associate's degree, while also working towards a high school diploma. However, the program is only available to boys.

"We saw that our male students were not matriculating to college at the rate that our female students are, so we felt this was a need in our school district," said Deputy Superintendent Terry Pruitt.

Viking Early College will open its doors to its first all-male class this fall.

District officials say 20 students will be accepted into the program each year, and those interested will have to go through a lengthy application process.

"I think what you find is most of us who went to college, went to college as a result of the things we were exposed to by our parents, and we are targeting the students who have minimum exposure," said Leonard Starks.

Starks will be overseeing the program as dean. He says the early college wants young men who are willing and capable of doing the work, but for whatever reason may not be able to achieve post-secondary education.

The district consulted with the state and U.S. Department of Education on the legality of the single-gender program.

Male or female-only classes became popular after federal regulations issued in 2006 allowed the use of these programs in school districts.

Across the state there are more than 70 schools that offer some form of single-gender classes.

"We are offering this as a choice, it is not mandatory," Pruitt says, "and we also offer dual-credit for both genders, so the opportunity to earn college credit is available to all students."

Officials hope Viking Early College will lay the groundwork to help more students finish high school with a diploma and degree. If it's successful, the district may consider adding a female-only program.

Eighth grade males currently enrolled in Spartanburg School District 7 can apply for the program or be nominated by a teacher. Applications are available through the middle schools' guidance counselors.

The first class of students will be announced in May.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:27 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:27:21 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
  • Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:15:32 GMT
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
  • Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:11:50 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.