Through a renewed strategic partnership, York Technical College and Rock Hill School District 3 have created seamless pathways for district students to get a jump start on earning college credentials while in high school. The newly formed dual credit program was announced Tuesday during a Memorandum of Understanding signing, held on the Rock Hill campus.

Focused on the College’s technical offerings, the program provides 13 dual credit career pathways, ranging from engineering technology, automotive technology, welding and construction trades to digital arts and the health sciences.

While the College anticipates welcoming its first cohort in fall 2018, a select group of 20 students have started the health sciences pathway. Three Rock Hill Schools students who attended the ceremonial signing expressed excitement about getting an early start on working towards a degree.

“I think that this is really an incentive for all the students who are planning on going to a two-year or four-year college because it does give you a little bit of preparation to the coursework, it helps you adjust and it does help you to get into your major a little quicker,” said 17-year-old Haylie Casanova.

Casanova, a South Point High School senior, and 17-year-old Jessie Stover, a senior at Rock Hill High School, will continue their studies full-time at York Tech in the spring 2018 semester.  Casanova will study surgical technology, while Stover will pursue a nursing degree. Kayla Wingate, also a 17-year-old South Point High School senior, plans to transfer to a four-year college to earn a nursing degree.

“For our students to be able to earn [college] credits while they are in high school, is just outstanding,” said Rock Hill Schools Superintendent Kelly Pew. We know that our community is telling us that it needs a skilled workforce of people who are ready to go into the available high paying jobs, so this is just a remarkable opportunity for our students.”

“We diligently developed this partnership to increase opportunities for all of our students to improve social mobility. All of the students who complete these pathways will be work ready,” said Stacey Moore, executive vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at York Technical College. “They will be positioned to to earn high paying jobs in high demand fields, and will be able, if they chose, to transfer to a four-year degree program.”

The new partnership, which emphasizes affordability and accessibility, offers a no-cost alternative for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. In order to be eligible, the students must be enrolled in completion programs that lead to a certificate, diploma or associate degree.

“The reality is that parents are in a dilemma. They want their children to have the very best, but they are in a difficult spot because they see so many people in debt, financing their education. Through this partnership, we are providing students an affordable option that puts them in a better position to earn a degree, with minimal worries,” said York Tech President Dr. Greg Rutherford.

For students and families seeking quality educational opportunities that offer value and give students an early start to degree completion, the new dual credit program is a viable solution.

For more information on dual credit programs offered at York Technical College, interested students or their parents can email [email protected] or visit with their high school counselor.