Tuesday, 06 August 2019 17:34

Governor signs McInnis bill allowing 9th, 10th graders to take community college classes

Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

RALEIGH — Younger high schoolers will now have the opportunity to get a jump-start on their college careers.

Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper signed off on Senate Bill 366, which allows ninth- and 10th-graders to take classes at a community college.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, and Brent Jackson, R-Sampson and passed both houses unanimously, N.C. General Assembly records show.

According to McInnis’ office, the new law will allow freshmen and sophomores to take both vocational and academic courses while gaining transferable college credits.

“We do not need to hold our students back while they could be obtaining valuable college credit for academic classes or life and work skills needed for today’s trade opportunities,” McInnis said in a statement.

Dual enrollment has been available to juniors and seniors for years.

Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis credited the college’s partnership with Richmond County Schools for having a dual enrollment program that is a model for the state.

“Opening the door for qualified ninth- and 10th-graders to take our classes can make a life-changing difference for these students and their families,” he said.

Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Maples said the district’s goal is “to help our students in developing and supporting their career paths.”

“For some students, the pathway is to continue their education after high school, while others may choose the military or career,” Maples said. “We are meeting this week with RCC to work out the details and our plan is to make these opportunities available for our students this fall.”

The new law also allows qualified tradesmen to teach their respective trades on campuses of North Carolina high schools.

“These tradesmen possess the expertise and experience necessary for students to obtain skills for jobs that pay a living wage without any college requirement(s),” the senator said.