Aiken Scholars Academy to begin in 2018

Dr. Sean Alford, Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent, at podium, and Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor at USC Aiken, give update on Aiken Scholars Academy on Thursday. SPECIAL

The Aiken Scholars Academy – a joint academic venture by the University of South Carolina-Aiken and the Aiken County Public School District – will start classes in the fall of 2018.

 

Officials from the school district and college held a news conference Thursday to provide updates on the venture geared to better prepare high school students for college. Classes for the academy, which was officially announced in December, will be held inside the college’s Ruth Patrick Education Center.

The purpose of the Aiken Scholars Academy is to enhance the preparedness of Aiken County Public School students by exceeding standards of college and career readiness and meeting the needs of an increasingly technical and highly skilled future workforce, according to a school district news release.

“We will accept 50 of the brightest ninth-grade students from across our county and expand our enrollment each year by an additional 50 students until we reach a maximum enrollment of 200 students during the fourth year,” Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford stated. “This will be a school of excellence and provide an unrivaled academic opportunity for Aiken County students.”

Dr. Sandra Jordan, USC Aiken’s Chancellor, said the university was “thrilled to collaborate” with the district on the project.

“The student body for the Aiken Scholars Academy will be among the highest performing students in the county, and they will enjoy a competitive school environment with a challenging curriculum,” she said.

During ninth and tenth grade years, the academy will be taught by Aiken County instructors as they participate in courses necessary for high school graduation at honors and advanced placement levels, according to the school district.

Following completion of the coursework, Academy students will participate in college courses on the USCA campus in the discipline unique to their individual interests and graduate high school with the potential of earning 48-60 hours of college credit to begin their college experience, without cost to the student or family, according to the news release.

An informational meeting for interested community students and families is scheduled May 25 at USCA, starting at 6 p.m. in the Student Activities Center gymnasium.

Reach Doug Stutsman at (706) 823-3341 or doug.stutsman@augustachronicle.com

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