Charter students earn college degrees early


Photo courtesy of Sophia Hendricks

Sophia Hendricks, a dual-enrolled junior at Chesapeake Science Point Charter School (left), says earning two degrees at once is hard but rewarding.

Zack Buster, Editor-in-Chief

Students at Chesapeake Science Point Charter School in Hanover can receive their high school diplomas and their transfer studies degrees from AACC at the same time.
Sophia Hendricks, a dual-enrolled junior at the school, said while the program “isn’t for the faint of heart,” it allows students to prepare for university life and “get some college credits under your belt while you’re still in high school.”
Hendricks added: “It kind of gets you a feel for college. At a four-year college, you’re alone for the first time and you have to figure out so much on your own … but now I feel really prepared.”
Students at the small charter school who get into the program take AACC classes for free from ninth grade to 11th grade. The pathway in this charter school is part of a larger partnership between AACC and Anne Arundel County institutions called the Early College Access Program.
AACC’s director of instructional pathways and partnerships with high schools, Sara Eger, said the program “allows [students]to explore while still in high school,” to find out what they want to major in before transferring to a four-year college.
It’s an opportunity “for students to really figure out if this is really what [they] want to do,” Eger said. “They have the opportunity while in high school to switch gears before they commit to maybe choosing a college that specializes in something that wasn’t what they wanted.”
Hendricks, who discovered her passion for the medical field while taking an AACC course in the program, agreed.