Berkeley County Middle College High offers unique educational op - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Berkeley County Middle College High offers unique educational opportunities for students

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It's a unique educational opportunity that is helping students attain college degrees early, and save money at the same time. We're in Berkeley county for our Cool School of the week.

It's not the traditional high school setting. Berkeley County Middle College High, the district's only magnet high school, is a unique partnership between Trident Technical College and Berkeley County School District. Principal Claire Freeman says, "They attend college and high school at the same time. They are completing some of their high school course as pre-requisite to college work but generally they get through that quickly and they start college early. The most critical thing about the middle college as different from a dual credit program is they are attending on a college campus.. so that transition between high school and college becomes a lot easier. Our average graduate has about one year of college about 30 credit hours under their belt by the time they get their high school diploma."

There are 102 juniors and seniors at BMC, Students can take any course they're eligible to take in TTC's catalogue. Junior Maleeha Dugan says, "I'm taking four college courses, macro economics, American government, college skills, and computers. My college courses are pretty good not so hard and high school classes are good too. I will get my associates when I graduate, and my high school too. I'm going to go on to a four year college to get my bachelors in science to be a dentist. Its saving like two years, and saving a lot of money too, so it's pretty cool."

Christopher Perez graduated last year with 11 college credits. He says, "I really enjoyed it because it got me ready for college classes, and now I'm doing all college classes and I'm making straight A's. Karen Wrighten is dean of Trident Technical College's Berkeley campus. Wrighten says, "It is a true partnership. We have the ability to welcome some young minds into the college setting. They have a lot to contribute to the traditional students who range from 18 years old to 70 year old, so having all of them in the classroom, it is a win win, a win win learning experience for both groups."

Established in 2010, BMC is the first school of its kind in the Lowcountry. "When you have students graduating from college before they graduate from high school that is a huge accomplishment. It not only shows the folks in this region but in the country as well that this is really successful model and Berkeley county is so proud to have the first one in the region," says Amy Kovach, director of communications and community relations for Berkeley County School District.

Junior Terance Thurman says, "It gives you like a little boost to get ahead and you also get a taste of what college is really like so when you get there it's not really hard and you have to adjust." Junior Kyle Douglas says, "I love it here."

Berkeley County Middle College high is now in it's fourth year. Students apply to attend. Last year, they had a waiting list and lottery to get in. School leaders say they have the highest ACT composite scores in the district, and third in the tri-county area.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present the BMC Titans with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. send an email to octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. maybe your school will be the next cool school of the week.

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