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SCCC and Sparta High School Forge Degree Partnership

5/17/2021 10:18:19 AM

A group of men and women, professionally dressed stand behind a table that seats 2 men.


Seated left to right: Sparta Acting Superintendent Patrick McQueeney, and SCCC President Dr. Jon Connolly.
Back Row left to right: Sparta High School Principal Ronnie Spring; Sparta Supervisor Mathematics grades 6-12 Laura Kasa;
Sparta Supervisor of Social Studies, World Language, and ESL Scott Kercher; Sparta Supervisor of Science Marisa Wilson;
SCCC  Assoc. VP of Student Success Cory Homer; Sparta Supervisor of English grades 6 -12 Mary Hassenplug and
SCCC SR VP of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Kathleen Okay.

A new partnership between Sussex County Community College and Sparta High School is paving the way for Sparta high school students to get on the road to success with a specific degree.

The Early College Advancement Program will allow Sparta High School students to earn college credits toward their general Liberal Arts degree. The program will launch for the 2021-2022 school year and follow a structured curriculum set forth by the College.

Credits can be earned through AP equivalency courses and concurrent courses at the high school, as well as courses on the Sussex campus.

“Joining the Early College Advancement Program is a stepping stone for high-achieving students who want to turn their high school credits into a career-enhancing degree,” said SCCC Associate VP of Student Success Cory Homer. “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Sparta High School and give their students a chance to get ahead of the curve as they enter their respective fields of study.”

"The Sparta Township Public Schools are excited to partner with Sussex County Community College to provide our students with another exciting opportunity to acquire college credits and possibly an associate degree while fulfilling their high school diploma requirements," added Patrick McQueeney, Acting Superintendent. "This is an exciting and affordable pathway for our students and their families to start their college journey.  We look forward to further developing our relationship with Sussex County Community College to continue to increase our ability to prepare our students for their lives beyond high school." 

Scott Kercher, Supervisor of Social Studies, World Language and ESL at Sparta, also believes that this is a great opportunity "for students to earn an associate's degree while meeting their high school graduation requirements." He continued, "We believe that this program will help open avenues toward a 4-year college degree for families concerned about student debt and affordability. I am also very proud that the work of Sparta's teachers and supervisors is being recognized by SCCC as college-level instruction."

In addition to the Early College Advancement Program, students will still be able to earn standalone course credit through concurrent and dual-enrollment courses.

Many high school students like the convenience and cost-effectiveness of simultaneously earning college credits at the associate level. Doing so can lessen the class load of first-year students as they transition to higher education or, in some cases, even allow them to skip over general education courses altogether and focus on their core studies.

To be eligible for the Early College Advancement Program, Sparta high schoolers must meet course requirements and receive a recommendation from their respective guidance counselor.

Sussex County Community College is located in Newton, in the heart of New Jersey’s Scenic Highlands. It offers an array of degrees, certificates, and continuing education programs.