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Central Carolina Works: Free college pathways for high school students

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Click to enlarge,  Central Carolina Works Career and College Advisors include, left to right: front row, Tracy Autry, Kimberly Brzozowski, April Hammonds, Lara Abels, and Latoya Parker; back row, Elvin James, Kelli Hammond, Virginia Brown, Foster Cates, and Steve Heesacker.

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Central Carolina Works Career and College Advisors include, left to right: front row, Tracy Autry, ... (more)

02.24.2015College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - High school students in Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties will soon be registering for free college classes for the 2015-2016 year through the Central Carolina Works (CCW) program.

CCW enables high school juniors and seniors to enroll, tuition-free, in college credit courses that also apply toward their high school diploma. By the time they graduate from high school, they could earn a certificate and have a jump-start on their career or college education.

CCW is an educational initiative by a consortium including Central Carolina Community College, education (Chatham County Schools, Harnett County Schools, and Lee County Schools), business, industry, and community leaders.

CCW funds the placement of career and college advisors in each of the public high schools in Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties. These advisors work one-on-one with students to help them take advantage of the state-funded Career and College Promise (CCP) program.

Interested students should contact their Career and College Advisor for more information and to enroll.

The CCW program has grown in popularity from its beginning, currently enrolling 592 students from the nine public high schools in the area. Of those 592 students, 376 are enrolled in a Career and Technical (CTE) Pathway and 216 are enrolled in a College Transfer Pathway. The current total CCP enrollment is 933 students, which includes Lee Early College, charter, private, and home school students.

New CTE Pathways for Fall 2015 include Accounting, Culinary Arts, Laser and Photonics, Library Information Technology, Nurse Aide (new for Lee and Chatham), and Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance.

"Central Carolina Works was designed and conceived to help the student and their family who may not know what post K-12 education and employment is best suited for their interests and abilities," says Kirk Bradley, Chairman, President & C.E.O. of Lee-Moore Capital Company, who spearheaded the intensive fund-raising to launch the initiative. "By providing a trained professional to help these students understand both curriculum and workforce outcomes available through CCCC, they can make better choices earlier in their middle and high school years.

"I am a firm believer that all students should be on a minimum K-14 path if not seeking further education. By making them aware of the Career and College Promise, these students can get almost a year of first- and second-year post high school education while still in high school. The skills and qualifications received during this period leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree will make these students competitive in the 21st Century global economy."

Central Carolina Community College President Dr. T.E. Marchant says CCW is a great example of regional cooperation driven by the private sector to increase the educational opportunities for high school and college students alike. "As manufacturing returns to the United States, the Central Carolina region will be ready to meet the high tech demands of those jobs," says Marchant.

"Not only do we want to see an increase in participation, but we also want to see an increase in the number of certificates earned," says Virginia Brown, CCCC's Director of Secondary Partnerships.

The CCW Career and College Advisors are: in Lee County, Lara Abels at Southern Lee High School and Foster Cates at Lee County High School; in Chatham County, Kelli Hammond, Chatham Central High School; April Hammonds, Northwood High School, and Steve Heesacker, Jordan-Matthews High School; and in Harnett County, Tracy Autry at Triton High School, Kimberly Brzozowski at Harnett Central High School, Elvin James at Western Harnett High School, and Latoya Parker at Overhills High School. Virginia Brown works with students from private and charter schools.

Advisors spend much of their time with the high school juniors and seniors, advising them and registering them for class, then monitoring their progress and working on strategies to help them be successful.

The advisors also work with ninth and tenth graders to help them plan ahead so that when they become juniors and seniors, Central Carolina Works will be a part of their high school plans. Even eighth graders are included in early discussions

For more information on the Central Carolina Works program, contact Virginia T. Brown at or by telephone at 919-718-7370, or visit the website, or visit the CCW blog Those who wish to be added to the CCW monthly newsletter can contact Brown.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit