Early college open house has ‘phenomenal’ turnout; campus tours showcase programs

Parents and 8th grade students explored options for their high school journey at Columbus Career and College Academy during an open house event on March 7. CCCA is on Southeastern Community College’s campus, where students can access career and technical education pathways. 

CCCA Principal Christian Godwin said the early college is an accelerated program with high expectations that requires motivation, a great work ethic and personal responsibility. Students have five years to earn their high school diploma and associates degree.  

“The purpose of the open house was to bring the parents and the students to the campus so they could get a better understanding of the programs we offer through CCCA and in partnership with Southeastern Community College,” Godwin said. “The turnout was phenomenal, and I was able to hear the excitement from parents and students as we walked between buildings. So, it was a huge success.” 

The evening started with an information session in the SCC auditorium, where the audience heard from Godwin, CCCA school counselor Kayla Gooden, college liaison Crystal Matthis, SCC Executive Vice President Dr. Sylvia Cox and CCCA junior Morgan Jacobsen.  

“I’ve watched students come here to the early college and excel even more than they would at a traditional high school,” Cox said. “They do that because of the exceptional staff who really create a family atmosphere. That same family atmosphere loves you and holds you accountable.” 

Cox explained that students who come to the early college, with the support of college and high school, are more likely to be successful in their career field. She said that CCCA students who graduate with an associates degree have options in apprenticeships, entering the workforce or transferring to a university. With SCC credits transferring to a university, those students will save time and money while getting their bachelor’s or master’s degree.  

Jacobsen said that students receive a real high school experience with the extracurricular activities offered on campus. From the National Honor Society to Beta Club, Ambassadors, Skills USA, yearbook, poetry club, walking club, Battle of the Books, winter semiformal dance, prom and career expos, Jacobsen explained that there is something for everyone.  

CCCA teachers and SCC instructors were stationed in B, M and T buildings on campus, where they awaited parents and students to answer any questions. Technical programs on showcase were welding, HVAC, agribusiness, information technology, automotive, masonry, mechatronics, electrical engineering, broadcasting, metal machining, construction, cosmetology and culinary arts. Parents and students also explored options in phlebotomy, nursing, early childhood education, English and math.  

“Our teachers loved the open house format, where we had a map setup and ambassadors guiding parents and 8th graders to each building,” Godwin said. “The parents were able to choose where they went and who they talked to, so it was very laid back and flowed really well.”  

CCCA’s application deadline is April 8. The digital application is available on the school’s website and Facebook page. Godwin said that parents will need a Gmail account to access the application, but a student’s school email address will work. A current copy of a student’s report card is required for the application. 

CCCA offers free bus transportation, lunch and breakfast for all students. 

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