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Early College Programs Propel High School Students to Earn Degrees


The 2020 graduation season looks very different from years past, due to disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For the 77 area high school seniors who expected ​to march in two graduation ceremonies this spring - one for earning a high school diploma, and another to celebrate their associate degree from Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) - it has been especially disappointing. However, the absence of time-honored traditions cannot cloud the students' accomplishments, nor the view of a bright future ahead.

RCSJ high school dual enrollment programs make it possible for young scholars, ages 15 to 18, from public, private and home schools across South Jersey, to take general education courses and earn college credits toward an associate degree or for transfer.

On the RCSJ-Cumberland campus, 45 Cumberland County Technical Education Center (CCTEC) students graduate this year with a liberal arts associate degree, and four Vineland High School students earned a math and science associate degree. An additional 28 high school students earned their associate degree from the RCSJ-Gloucester campus.

As the cost of higher education continues to rise across the country, an early college program is a less traditional and much more affordable approach for ambitious high school students seeking a college degree.

The dual credit/High School Option Program (HSOP) at RCSJ is designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to start taking college-level courses at a fraction of the tuition, which may also satisfy high school graduation requirements.

Completed courses can be applied to a RCSJ associate degree program or easily transferred to other institutions of higher education. Students will benefit from college enrollment and registration assistance, personalized academic and career advisement, and have free access to RCSJ services, clubs and activities.

Eligible high school students may take courses during RCSJ's summer, fall, winter and spring sessions. Visit​ to learn about the options that will put your high school student on an accelerated path to success.

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