The Early College Program is a partnership between PVCC and the public school divisions in the college's service region. The program allows high-achieving high school students the opportunity to complete an associate degree or general education certificate concurrently with a high school diploma. Utilizing dual enrollment classes offered in the high schools along with classes offered at a PVCC campus, students have the opportunity to complete the degree and/or certificate requirements while saving money. Additionally, many of the partnering high schools provide financial assistance or scholarships to help Early College students off-set the cost of the courses taken at PVCC. As always, dual enrollment classes in the high schools are offered at no cost to the students.
Passed in 2012, Virginia HB 1184 mandates that “each institution within the Virginia Community College System shall develop agreements for postsecondary degree attainment with the public high schools in the school divisions that they serve, specifying the options for students to complete an associate degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies concurrent with a high school diploma.”
PVCC has worked with its partner high school divisions and developed these Early College pathways for students at all of the public high schools in our direct service region. We currently offer pathways for high school students to earn the AS degree in general studies as well as a general studies certificate pathway.*
Students leverage the dual enrollment credit available at their high schools to help fulfill the requirements for the AS degree or certificate. However, they must also take additional courses beyond what is available through dual enrollment in order to earn all the necessary credits to complete the Early College Program. Students can take the additional required classes at PVCC (on campus or online) as a dual-credit student and/or can use AP credit they earn at their high school. While dual enrollment is offered at no charge to students, they are required to cover the costs of dual-credit classes. Therefore, the more credits that are available to students through dual enrollment the lower the cost is for the student to complete the degree or certificate in the Early College Program.