Morehead City, N.C.

Aug. 9, 2018

TO THE EDITOR:

I have cast another dissenting vote in one of our BOE meetings … this time, regarding whether to allow MaST Early College High School students to participate in athletics in our traditional high schools. I supported our high school principals in opposition to immediately pushing forward with this, but it passed nonetheless. I take the opportunity to share my reasoning behind my “dissenting opinion.”

 From the very beginning, I have questioned and scrutinized the need for (and additional cost of) the MaST Early College High School. I believe that sports are an extremely important facet of the high school experience. However, I do not feel that we must replicate all aspects of our traditional high schools at MaST. Today it is sports, but tomorrow it may be band, chorus, art, drama, student council, clubs, prom, and any other activities our traditional high schools offer. And for each activity that we try to accommodate MaST students, additional hurdles and complications will arise for teachers and administrators at our normal high schools. I feel that students who want to take advantage of these activities at their home high schools should enroll in that high school … not only for the sake of the school, but for the sake of the students as well.

 Some school systems and some students may benefit from the availability of an “Early College High School.” But contrary to what many people currently think, students do not need to abandon their home high schools (and their friends and extracurricular activities) and enroll in MaST to pursue a trade or to earn college credits while in high school. Many citizens apparently are not aware that these opportunities are already available to our traditional high school students through the “Career & College Promise” program.  Following is a quote from the program’s webpage (http://www.carteret.edu/programs/career-college-promise/):

“Career & College Promise (CCP) is a program that allows North Carolina high school students to earn college credits tuition free while still in high school. The program provides seamless dual enrollment educational opportunities for eligible North Carolina high school students in order to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer or provide entry level job skills.”

 I have asked: “Are advantages and opportunities available to MaST students that will not be available to our traditional high school students?” I have been told: “The only advantage is they [MaST students] can take a CCC course in 9th grade.”

 After asking: “Can students in the CTE pathway [of Career & College Promise] take any CCC courses for credit in the 9th grade?” I was informed: “Yes, there are five program areas: welding, aquaculture, marine propulsion, boat manufacturing and new heavy equipment marine diesel.”

 So most of the opportunities that might sway some students to enroll in MaST are already available to our traditional high school students. Do other reasons exist which might justify the need for (and cost of) maintaining the Early College High School? Some think so. Regardless, before students forego the traditional high school experience, I want to ensure they and their parents are fully aware of all options currently available to help them succeed in their home high schools.

 

TRAVIS DAY

Carteret County Board of Education

(15) comments

NC-Native-Son

Mast schools offer earning a High School diploma along with and Associate Degree. That is a lot of work and I commend the families who have the discipline to do that. However, there are other school systems where that is offered and the Mast school must field their own teams. The logistics of getting students to practice and games can be overwhelming. People have to make a choice and if athletics is a priority, it is hard to see how Mast fits in with that.

DeadBolt

Sounds like common sense.


Perhaps the author would like to have a gander at a great new program coming out for educators, and individuals.

High School is up coming, ie: this program will have an excellent model for a vast number of schools in the near future.


Also, this , currently is mainly for individuals in present, if your dealing with day to day struggles. (which we all do).

https://selfauthoring.com/


Academia is on the way with this program, just hold tight. (including colleges).


ps. also, a useful tool for Academia

https://heterodoxacademy.org/ Check into it. [wink]

dc

Travis has been on top of this all along but few, if any, are listening.

Osprey

Travis Day do your homework. "Career and College Promise" program is NOT the cupcake you make it to be. Most Universities DO NOT recognize the credits issued by this program. I know for a fact as 2 of my children participated and earned 0 towards their 4 year degree.
Being uniformed is typical of our BOE members.

dc

Rather than following the lead of other LEAs (local education authorities), counties, states, etc. with these somewhat "innovative" early college HS education ideas let's make CC really innovative and push the local and state BOEs, DPI, etc. and federal DOE to make Carteret County a test model and convert all our county traditional high schools to Early College High Schools and even go a step further and simultaneously provide the "remedial" courses all our students need to enter "higher education" programs of their choosing.

DeadBolt

This is more true today then when it was filmed as an option for parents.

Milton Friedman - The Path To Better Schools

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azP4laYkgUg

TravisDay

“Osprey,” I am glad you mentioned that “most universities do not recognize the credits issued by this program” [Career and College Promise]. I am not surprised that this was the case for your two children, and I am sorry if you were promised that those credits would count. Please do not misunderstand my letter because I assure you I am NOT trying to make Career & College Promise (CCP) out to be any sort of cupcake. I am just trying to point out that MaST is made from the same batter as the other Career & College pathways.

The sad situation is that this same problem (credits not being accepted by colleges) will likely apply to MaST course credits as well. MaST is a “Cooperative Innovative High School Program” which is one of the three pathways UNDER the “Career and College Promise” umbrella. (The other two pathways are the “College Transfer Pathway” and “Career Technical Education Pathway”...go to https://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/academic-programs/career-college-promise and then click on “CCP Operating Procedures” to read more.)

Courses under all three of these Career and College Pathways may or may not be accepted by universities. Each university has its own standards as to what they will accept. Prestigious, private and/or out-of-state universities may not accept any of these credits. (They may be much more likely to accept AP class credits for which nationally accredited AP exams must be taken.) Colleges in the Univ of N. Carolina system may indeed accept more Career and College Promise credits. I was told that an N.C. law was passed requiring NC public colleges to accept a certain number of community college credits (from a certain number of applicants?). But I do not know the details on this and cannot say how many of these credits will actually be accepted. (And I am not sure who, if anyone, can provide a definitive answer on this.)

Some students and parents mistakenly think that if they enroll in MaST, then half of their college credits (and college tuition) will magically be taken care of it...but how many community college credits get accepted depends on what university students apply to, as well as other factors. And I don’t believe that MaST credits are any more likely to get counted than if a student remained in his home high school and took the came courses through one of the other Career and College pathways. The bottom line is that MaST is NOT the magic bullet for getting half of your college tuition paid for, as some people unfortunately think.

Regarding the comment about needing to “do my homework”... I can promise you that I have definitely done my homework on this. I have initiated and attended multiple multi-hour meetings with various administrators. I have sent and received countless emails regarding budgets, curriculum requirements, and all sorts of details about the Early College Initiative. I have researched numerous websites and many other documents. I do not pretend to know it all, but I would wager that I could count on one hand the number of people in this county who have done more homework than I have on this topic. BUT...that being said, I am still learning a lot, and I am sure I still have a lot more to learn. So I will continue to do additional research on this topic, and I welcome people to correct any misstatements or incorrect information you think I may have provided. What I’ve written is simply my own observation based on the abundance of homework I have already done.

The sad thing is, getting a good education, applying to colleges and/or preparing for a good career should NOT be so complicated and confusing. Things used to be much simpler and parents didn’t have to do hours of research just to try to figure out which classes, pathways or schools our students should follow in order to maximize their GPA or the likelihood of success, be it through college, or through a vocational pathway. This “game” we must play is enough to make your head spin. I am just happy that we have such great public schools in Carteret County and that we aren’t forced to consider private schools or other alternative schools (Early Colleges or otherwise), like parents must do in so many counties across our state. We should be very proud of what we currently have in our traditional Carteret County Public Schools.

And “dc”...I like your idea about potentially “converting” our current high schools. I agree with you that I would MUCH prefer to see ALL of our three traditional high schools do a better job of offering “Early College” AND vocational opportunities rather than focusing on a single, small “Early College” high school as the solution. Rather than only 50 (MaST) students per year being able to take advantage of these opportunities, ALL of our traditional high school students should be able to have the same opportunities (through an enhanced CCP program or otherwise).

DeadBolt

I agree w/ the Travis on this, and yes 'tech' skills is a huge benefit.

Wow, we had 3-4 trade options in high school, everyone is not cut out for college.

Also, IMO, i honestly think that EXCESSIVE DEMANDS IN SCHOOL ON THE STUDENTS IS GOING TO GO HORRIBLY WRONG.

ie: honestly how many of these graduates are going to over 4 year degree's?

Has ANYONE followed the college drop out rate of Carteret County High School Graduates (regardless the institution?) What are the number of the same group who actually apply, and go?

Of those, how many actually Graduate, and what fields, these are basic questions a very simple 2-3 year study would point out?

Lets separate the wheat from the chaff..............

If not, your simply beating a dead horse as the old saying goes.

dc

More people should listen to Travis. He's done more than his share of homework.
Some if not most of the "elite" higher ed institutions not accepting "not so elite" college level courses should come as a surprise to no one. Believe it or not they are in the money-making business first and foremost.

TravisDay

Osprey, I just received confirmation…. MaST parents may unfortunately share the same frustration that you did regarding their course credits not counting towards their 4-year degree. It depends on the university.

Q: Regarding credits which may or may not be accepted by universities, aren't credits through MaST essentially the same as credits through CCP College Transfer & CTE course credits? (MaST credits would not be any more likely to be accepted than other CCP credits… correct?)

A: That is correct. They are still a part of the same articulation agreement between community colleges and universities.

NC-Native-Son

I know of several kids who have gone through such a program. They attend a special high school at the local community college. If they keep up with the challenging curriculum, they earn an associate degree and a high school diploma at the same time within the four years of high school. The school had their own sports team and it was co-ed soccer. They sucked at sports but they were the brainiacs of the county.

dc

Interesting reading about "NC New Schools Project". Impressive until the $ ran out.

TravisDay

Some other counties may not be fortunate enough to have public schools as strong as ours. In those counties, students may feel that “Early College” schools are their best option because they think it serves as an “exclusive, publicly-funded private school.” I do not want our Early College program to become a “brain-drain” from our traditional high schools because Early College applicants perceive they can get a better education or more college credits if they leave their traditional home high schools. I worry that Early College could effectively weaken our traditional high schools, without adding significant educational benefits for our students. We are already seeing a decrease in the demand for (and thus availability of) AP courses offered at our traditional high schools because it is “easier” to take CCC classes.

I do not blame CCC for wanting the Early College High School. More students taking classes at CCC is good for them, as it means they receive more revenue from the state. But I have yet to be convinced that money and resources spent on Early College is a wise investment for our Public School System, especially given the many other needs of our schools. I am still perplexed as to how “Early College” became such a priority for our schools. It was often pitched as a way to offer better trade & job opportunities for the kids who want to remain in our county to work. (I would prefer this to be the primary goal of MaST.) But many MaST applicants instead view it as a potential shortcut to and through college, hoping to reduce the cost and number of courses required of college. Regardless of whether students are trade-seeking or college-bound, we could have done (and still need to do) a better job of enabling our traditional high school students to utilize the opportunities CCC already offers through the Career and College Promise pathways.

dc

Travis, your common sense is commendable. It's obvious you have thoroughly thought this through. Too bad most everyone else is uninformed, "in the tank", or silent and don't care. May be wrong but believe it started with NC New Schools Project funded intially by Gates Foundation and other grants which went bust. So, how is it all funded now?

David Collins

This “early college” thing has been available for years at the community college level. Essentially you withdraw “drop out” of High School in your junior year and take “college level “ courses at the local community college. This sounds great and works well as long as the level of these courses is truly the same as the college you transfer to. No guarantee there for sure. Of course the community college will say that it is and readily transferable to a state college. Sadly, things do not always work out as advertised. The 4 year colleges really do not like this arrangement for many reasons. They take this practice, that was forced down their throats by the legislature, so to speak, as a personal affront. Was told that the first year at a 4 year College is essentially a weeding out process that needs to take place. Of course they would not admit to this but privately....../..//. So, what to do? As with all things in life, you pays your money and takes your chances. The High Schools could have avoided some of this if they would just clean up their act and hire the best instructors that would actually challenge these bright and motivated students to be the best. Mixing non- motivated students with the gifted and talented only brings everyone down and frustrates the really good instructors. That was and is a bad idea.

Always exceptions to anything but just my 2 cents.

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