Lee Early College Parent Information Night attracts more than 100
SANFORD - Interest in Lee Early College drew more than 100 Lee County parents and students to a Jan. 11 presentation at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center to receive information and ask questions.
LEC is an academically advanced, non-traditional high school under Lee County Schools. It is operated in collaboration with Central Carolina Community College at the college's Lee County Campus.
Students enter as ninth graders and, within five years, earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree. The college education is free because LEC is under the public school system.
LEC accepts between 60 and 70 students each year, but 283 students have already expressed interested in applying for the 2012-2013 school year, according to LEC principal Robert Biehl.
To apply, a student must be a resident of Lee County; first time, rising ninth grader; and submit a completed application to his/her eighth grade counselor no later than Thursday, Jan. 19. An application can be downloaded at www.leeearlycollege.com.
The application asks students questions about both their academic and social habits, Biehl told the Jan. 11 gathering. The applications also include three recommendations asking for comments on several areas, including the candidate's communication and problem-solving skills.
After students submit the application to their middle school counselors, the counselors attach test scores, report cards, absence information and discipline files to the application and forward it to Lee Early College.
Students who submit a completed application will be interviewed by an admissions team the week of Feb. 20, Biehl said. The team is comprised of one LEC teacher, one CCCC staff member and one LEC upperclassman. Afterwards, the interview committee speaks separately with the applicant's parents. Then the LEC and CCCC staff reexamine the applications and interview notes before making their final recommendations to Biehl and his review team.
If there are more applicants than available slots, students will be selected randomly by lottery. Acceptance notifications are sent out in mid-March.
"Students who do well at LEC are motivated to work hard," Biehl told those gathered for the information session.
He explained that LEC students should expect at least 1.5 hours of homework per night, but noted that those who work hard in the program definitely reap rewards. He provided an extensive list of the universities and colleges that LEC graduates have attended, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Brigham Young University.
One parent at the meeting expressed concern about how much extra help her child would receive to be successful at LEC. Guidance counselor Corina Murray said that LEC teachers would do anything to see a student be successful.
Addressing the parent's concern, Biehl added that LEC has a daily advisory program, during which students see their advisors for 25 minutes daily. Teachers consistently contact one another to check the academic progress of their students.
"With so much interest in the program, LEC staff expect to be reading quite a large stack of applications," said Elizabeth Wiggs, LEC English teacher, "but they are excited about the prospects of yet another incoming class of eager and driven freshmen."
For more information about Lee Early College, visit www.leeearlycollege.com.
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