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Charleston County School District (CCSD) is announcing a unique new partnership with the College of Charleston that will create a high school Scholars Academy program for students beginning in August 2021. This advanced studies program, open to students zoned for District 10 (West Ashley) and District 20 (Downtown Peninsula), is designed to serve students at an accelerated level and rate.

Current eighth grade students zoned for District 10 and District 20’s high schools will have the opportunity to express enrollment interest during the upcoming CCSD School Choice process.

The College of Charleston (CofC) Scholars Academy will provide a rigorous course of study via honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment courses, and will allow enrollees to explore fields of study under the guidance of both CCSD and CofC teachers and counselors. Students could accumulate up to two years of college credits with successful completion of AP exams and dual enrollment courses – with the potential of learning on CofC’s campus during their senior year.

Leaders from both institutions have been grateful for the opportunity to collaborate and offer this opportunity.

“We, at the College of Charleston, are very pleased to partner with Charleston County School District to improve educational opportunities for students on the peninsula and in West Ashley by experiencing our Scholars Academy offerings,” remarked Fran Welch, Dean of CofC’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. “Our partnership and shared vision for this initiative will provide a new avenue for students’ progression to, and success in, higher education and meaningful careers.”

While there is no application process for the CofC Scholars Academy, criteria including course grades, assessment data, and teacher recommendations will be considered when selecting students for 2021-22 enrollment as freshmen.

Interested District 10 and District 20 zoned students who wish to be considered for the program’s first pilot cohort of 30 students should complete an interest form, available via CCSD’s School Choice website, beginning Jan. 26, 2021. Several virtual information sessions for interested families will be offered with details posted on both West Ashley High and Burke High Schools’ websites in the coming days.

“The College of Charleston Scholars Academy is one of our many efforts to prepare students for post-secondary readiness and success,” said CCSD Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait. “We’re grateful for the generous support of and partnership with the College of Charleston and are looking forward to the outstanding things our students can achieve as a result.”