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LEC interviews potential students

Click to enlarge LEC interviews potential students

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Lee Early College interviewed 104 eighth graders Feb. 22 as candidates for the approximately 70 slots ... (more)

03.07.2012College & CommunityLee Early College

SANFORD - On Feb. 22, Lee Early College invited candidates to Central Carolina Community College to interview for the approximately 70 slots available to incoming freshmen.

More than 280 students from East Lee, West Lee, SanLee and Lee Christian middle schools expressed interest in LEC's program, with 138 of those submitting applications. Of those who applied, LEC interviewed 104 candidates.

Excited about the applicants, Principal Robert Biehl said, "With each passing year we receive an increasingly more competitive pool of applicants. We have an outstanding group of candidates this year; the selection process is going to be incredibly difficult."

Lee Early College is a collaboration of Lee County Schools and Central Carolina Community College. Students enter as ninth graders and can complete a high school diploma and an associate degree within five years, cost-free.

LEC created 13 interview teams for the interview process, with each team consisting of one LEC staff member, one CCCC staff member and one upperclassman from LEC. Each team member serves a different role in evaluating the candidates. LEC teachers look for students who will demonstrate the kind of motivation necessary for the Honors-level high school classes and CCCC staff look for students who will be able to simultaneously handle the course load and freedom a college schedule provides.

The LEC upperclassmen provide real-life college scenarios for candidates to consider and comment on. Regardless of each person's function during the interview, every team member's goal is to find students who will be successful at LEC and will use the opportunity to earn an associate degree to its fullest.

Candidates are asked questions about their academic habits and extracurricular activities during their ten-minute interview. Even parents spend a few minutes with the interview committee discussing the study skills and motivational levels of their children. Candidates can expect to be notified of their acceptance by mid-to-late March.

Tonya Comeaux, Social Studies teacher, said about LEC students, "You can't easily define our kids--we don't have a typical student. We're always just looking for kids who are highly motivated to succeed. Other than that, you really can't put our kids in a box."

Upon entering the LEC program, students are gradually introduced to more and more college courses. Freshmen start with only high school courses; if they maintain a 2.0 GPA, they earn the right to take college courses in their sophomore year.

By the second semester of their junior year, most LEC students have finished their high school courses and spend the remainder of their time enrolled in college-level courses at CCCC. The gradual transition from high school to college classes provides students with the opportunity to gain many skills (including note-taking and critical thinking) necessary for rigorous college classes.

Counselor Corina Murray was thrilled with the way the evening progressed, noting, "Interview night was a great success! The students were very well prepared for discussing their academic and extracurricular habits. All of them were incredibly excited about the opportunity to attend LEC."

For more information on LEC, call Virginia Brown at (919) 718-7370 or email