McDowell students excel through Career and College Promise program

Pictured (from left) are Candace Cooper, MTCC President John Gossett and Zoe Miller.


When they were taking Math I and Earth and Environmental Science classes in eighth grade, little did they know they would have a college degree in four years.

Candace Cooper and Zoe Miller will graduate from McDowell High School on June 7 and transfer to UNC-Wilmington and Western Carolina University respectively this fall with associate degrees from McDowell Tech through the Career and College Promise program.

“Ms. Waugh at the High School and Ms. Ruiz from The Tech both worked with me from the beginning with an Associate in Science in mind” said Candace.

Zoe agreed. “Ms. Waugh came to our eighth-grade class and mentioned Career and College Promise. It sounded like a good idea.”

Both young ladies took most of their required high school classes in the first two years at McDowell High which made the Career and College Promise college classes available mid-way through their Junior year.

“Doubling up on Math (taking math courses in each of the two semesters during a year) helped speed things up for me” said Zoe.

Both Zoe and Candace took advantage of McDowell Tech’s online course offerings.

“I only had to drive to McDowell Tech’s campus for a few classes” said Zoe.

Candace said “I had to take biology on the main campus for the lab, and maybe one other class. The rest were online which fit my schedule much better.”

“As athletes, we had practice right after school, then home to get cleaned up, eat supper and homework. Being able to do coursework on my schedule made it so much more convenient” said Zoe.

“We looked at how much I paid for my classes and I’m going to save about $15,000 by earning my Associate in Arts through Career and College Promise. That will go a long way toward my bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Accounting at WCU” said Zoe.

Candace is excited because “my softball scholarship will pay for four years of education. By earning an associate in science the scholarship will pay for graduate school in speech pathology.”

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