Liberty Bell, Science Hill students learn about opportunities during EPSO Week


A few Science Hill juniors took time to talk about advanced placement classes to Liberty Bell 8th-graders as part of EPSO Week.

Sometimes the most important thing about opportunities is realizing that you have them. Liberty Bell and Science Hill counselors spent the week showing their students the multitude of early postsecondary opportunities that are available at Science Hill.

It was all a part of EPSO Week, which was designated by the Tennessee Department of Education from October 22 to October 26. EPSO stands for Early Postsecondary Opportunities, which are courses and/or exams that give students a chance to obtain postsecondary credit while still in high school.

Courses such as advanced placement, dual-enrollment, industry certification and other programs help students become familiar with postsecondary rigor and expectations and can develop confidence and skills for success in postsecondary learning. They can also help students make better career decisions and decrease the time and cost of completing a certificate or degree.

“EPSO’s are valuable for a variety of reasons.  EPSO’s provide the students with an opportunity to be better prepared for the rigors of college academics or their respective career,” Science Hill counselor Josh Jarnigan said. “By the year 2020, it is estimated that 65% of careers will require some type of postsecondary training, so EPSO’s provide our students with an opportunity to be more employable right after high school as well as prepare them to be successful in the college classroom.”

Students at Liberty Bell and Science Hill started the week by wearing a shirt with their favorite college on it. On Tuesday and Thursday, Liberty Bell students took a tour of the Science Hill College, Career and Technical campus, so that they could see the different programs that they offer.

On Wednesday, several Science Hill advanced placement students took time to visit with Liberty Bell 8th-graders to discuss the different advanced placement courses that are offered at Science Hill and to ease any fears they may have.

Liberty Bell counselor Tracie Honeycutt said the counselors at Liberty Bell want their students and families to feel supported, encouraged and prepared for the transition to Science Hill.

“What we are trying to do is educate our 8th-graders and have them more prepared to know about the opportunities that they have awaiting them at Science Hill,” she said.

Honeycutt said that she noticed a lot of wide eyes and bright smiles throughout the week as students were introduced to their different opportunities.

“They’re beginning to link the importance of 8th grade to prepare them for high school,” Honeycutt said. “They’re also beginning to understand that there are things that they need to be doing now; like studying more. If they want an A, they have to put the work in for that grade. So it’s been super exciting to see them feeling like they’re more prepared.”

For more information, please contact the Science Hill counseling office or visit www.jcschools.org/ScienceHillCounseling.

SHHS offers EPSO opportunities in the following areas:

College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE)

SHHS offers certification in:

  • Certified nursing assistant
  • Certified Pharmacy technician
  • ASE Certified auto technician
  • Culinary Arts – Servsafe
  • Architecture and design - Solidworks

Advanced Placement (AP)

Science Hill offers over 15 AP courses and will build that to over 20 courses in the next three years. Science Hill students can also earn the AP Capstone Diploma.

AP courses provide challenging learning opportunities that compare to the expectations of college level courses. They also build confidence leading up to college level work and improve study skills, while helping to improve time management skills as you learn to balance a college level workload along with other areas of life.

Students are showing colleges that they have the drive and ability to succeed at their university. AP Courses are going to help prepare you to perform better on the ACT. Colleges prefer you to take a challenging curriculum even if that means that you graduate with a slightly lower GPA

Dual Enrollment

Students can dual enroll at any university, but the majority of our students take advantage of Dual Enrollment opportunities at ETSU, Northeast State, Milligan, and TCAT.  Students are typically allowed to enroll in any course that the college allows college freshmen to take, but they must discuss their plans with their counselor.  SHHS offers Statistics here on campus through ETSU with Mr. Floyd Brown.  Students’ first two dual enrollment courses are free if they complete their grant application through the state of TN.

Statewide Dual Credit

  • Computer aided drafting
  • Medical Terminology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Maintenance and light repair
  • Human services
  • General Welding
  • Speech
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