Florence-Darlington Technical College awards first-ever college degrees to high school students
A group of seven Darlington High School (DHS) students are set to make history as the first ever to graduate from the Darlington County School District (DCSD) with an Associate of Arts degree from Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Early College Program. The 2016 graduating class includes: Thomas Gibson, Brittney Hales, Hayden Happ, Jade McPhatter, Alexis Ramirez, Russell Summerlin, and Kenya White.
“Each course in the program is taught by extremely qualified instructors,” said FDTC’s High School Outreach Coordinator, Angie Hayek. “While some courses are taught by DHS teachers who are also FDTC adjunct instructors, most courses are taught by FDTC faculty. Online classes have a DHS facilitator and an FDTC instructor.”
Established in the summer of 2014, the program offers students the opportunity to take college classes leading to an Associate of Arts degree. A certified college instructor teaches in the high school. After the students have successfully earned a C or higher, they will earn at least three hours of college credit for each class.
“The program offers a rigorous collegiate experience for students and a substantial financial savings for students and their parents,” said Hayek. “In Early College Dual Enrollment, students have the opportunity to earn credits guaranteed to transfer to any public college or university within the state of South Carolina.”
Currently, the program offers 71 college hours. Determined and committed DHS Early College Magnet Program students have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree that will also fulfill most general education requirements for any public college and university in South Carolina. Students in the class of 2016 are the first to take advantage of this opportunity.
Thomas Gibson’s career goal is to obtain a degree in Computer Science or Engineering at a four-year college.
Brittney Hales has been accepted to Coker College, Converse College, and the University of South Carolina; she would like to pursue a career in athletic training.
Hayden Happ is the Founder and President of Darlington High School’s Technology Club; he has already been accepted to the University of South Carolina.
Jade McPhatter plans to attend pharmacy school; she is a member of the National Honors Society, National Art Honor Society and Anchor Club.
Alexis Ramirez has career goals to become a surgeon; she has been accepted to Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.
Russell Summerlin plans to attend Francis Marion University in the fall. He is especially proud to be the first person in his family to earn a college degree.
Kenya White has aspirations to become a registered nurse. She is a member of the National Honors Society, Student Government and her high school’s gospel choir.