Early college for all is the new goal of Duplin County schools in rural North Carolina, reports Education Week.
After (Duplin County Superintendent) Austin Obasohan visited Duplin Early College High School on the campus of James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, N.C., he was inspired.
The academic expectations for students were high there, and nearly all students were graduating from high school—most with an associate degree.
“We want a unified commitment to give every child the same opportunity,” says Obasohan, who came on the job in July 2010.
Teachers will begin creating a “college-going culture” starting in kindergarten. Students in all five district high schools will have a chance to take college-level courses.
The county’s high school graduation rate has risen from 71 percent in 2009-10 to 80.7 percent in 2011-12. Enrollment is divided about evenly between white, Hispanic, and African-American students. About 70 percent qualify for a subsidized school lunch.