Sometimes the most important thing about opportunities is knowing that they are in front of you. Science Hill Counselors joined high schools across Tennessee in celebrating EPSO week, a way to highlight the multiple early postsecondary opportunities that exist for high school students today.
Some of the early postsecondary opportunities at Science Hill include dual enrollment, Advanced Placement classes and industry certification through college, career and technical education. Students who take advantage of the early postsecondary opportunities are able to get a head start on their postsecondary credits while in high school.
EPSOs also allow students to become familiar with postsecondary rigor and expectations to help them develop confidence and skills for success in postsecondary learning. By challenging themselves early, students are able to make informed decisions about careers and take advantage of classes that allow them to decrease the time and cost of completing a certificate or degree.
“EPSOs are a valuable opportunity to be able to have a taste of what a student's future might hold and they can help connect the student from their ‘now’ to their possible futures,” Science Hill counselor Holly English said. “This might mean they try an AP class, which will give them insight into the structure of a college-level class, or they might be interested in a future in the healthcare field and EPSOs provide the opportunity for certification as a nursing assistant.”
Science Hill offers a multitude of EPSOs including 27 advanced placement classes. Unlike students elsewhere, Science Hill students do not have to pay for their AP exams as the board of education covers those expenses as a move to encourage students to challenge themselves. Science Hill students can also earn industry certifications as a certified nursing assistant, certified pharmacy technician, or ASE certified auto technician. Certifications in culinary arts, architecture and design, and early childhood are also available.
“Science Hill strives to meet the needs and interests of our students while responding to and fulfilling the employment needs of our region,” Science Hill assistant principal Carmen Bryant said. “We continue to explore and offer opportunities that will benefit both students and our community.”
Many of the dual enrollment classes offered are introductory college courses that students may take either on the college campus or at Science Hill. These courses are a wonderful opportunity that allow students to earn college credit toward a degree/industry certification and high school credit for graduation at the same time.
The newest dual enrollment class that will be offered at Science Hill is free and provided by the East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. The class is taught asynchronously and allows students to explore 30+ career options while learning more about the pharmacy profession and how to pursue pharmacy school.
“The online ETSU Dual Enrollment Pharmacy class will provide SHHS students, interested in the pharmacy or health care profession, with another option to further their career planning before leaving high school,” Bryant said. “Also, this course fits well into our Health Sciences program, which includes nursing services, therapeutic services, and sports & human performance.”
Students and families can learn more about this opportunity and other early postsecondary opportunities Science Hill offers by contacting their counselors or visiting the Science Hill Counselors website at ScienceHill.jcschools.org/counselors.