Partnership allows students to take college courses

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The world’s largest university specializing in aviation and aerospace will begin offering college-level courses at Battery Creek High School under a new partnership.
Beaufort County becomes only the second school district in the nation to offer “dual enrollment” courses with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University through the university’s Worldwide Campus, which has more than 150 centers around the globe, including one at Beaufort’s Marine Corps Air Station.  Embry-Riddle has residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz.
Battery Creek High Principal Ed Burnes said the new dual enrollment courses will allow qualified students to earn high school and college course credits simultaneously at no additional cost to parents.
The courses will be offered in Battery Creek’s Military Science and Aeronautical Engineering Academy, one of three options in the school’s “Tri-Academies” along with Arts and Humanities and Health Sciences and Information Technology.  Battery Creek High’s Tri-Academy model is one of 10 “programmatic choices” that allow district students to enroll in schools outside their zoned attendance areas.
Thirty-four students have requested and been approved for transfers to Battery Creek High next school year, according to district reports.
“Our Board of Education wants Beaufort County to be a leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and this new partnership with Embry-Riddle is another strong step in that direction,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.  “It also broadens the menu of academic choices that we offer to students and their parents.”
Dawn Beattie, associate director of the Embry-Riddle campus at MCAS Beaufort, described the new partnership as “a wonderful opportunity for high school students to participate in aeronautics-oriented classes led by highly qualified college instructors.”
“This program will introduce students to many different areas within the aeronautical field,” Beattie said.  “And doing that in high school is a perfect time for students to gain knowledge and accumulate experience that will be a boost to their college careers and beyond.”
Col. (Ret.) Jack Snider, a veteran Marine pilot who retired as the Marine Corps Air Station’s commander last year, is coordinating the new additions to Battery Creek’s academic program and hopes to increase the number of courses offered by the school.