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Durham Tech, Durham Public Schools partner to help high school students earn a credential before graduating

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Durham Technical Community College and Durham Public Schools (DPS) announced a new partnership this week that will ensure 25% – or one in four DPS students – complete a college credential by the time they graduate high school.

The goal is to award at least 500 DPS students with an associate degree or workforce credential in addition to their high school diploma.

Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton called the partnership transformative.

“We are being intentional in our approach to ensure that obstacles are removed and pathways are created for all students to have the option to graduate high school with a workforce credential or an associate degree,” he said.

Buxton added that both systems are implementing strategies to reach their goal of 25%. Some of those strategies include teaching college courses in the high schools, working with families to map out pathways to workforce credentials and college degrees, and addressing the cost of books and transportation.

“We must provide easy-to-understand information about our programs and ensure all high school students understand that postsecondary education is possible and a pathway to opportunity for them,” Buxton continued.

Durham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga said in the press release that this initiative seeks to remove barriers and create more equitable educational attainment.

High school students in North Carolina are able to take community college courses tuition-free under Career and College Promise (CCP). The dual-enrollment program provides “educational opportunities to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to a college transfer or provide entry-level job skills.”

You may view the full press release here.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is a policy analyst for EducationNC.