CCP: Keeping College Affordable


Living as a high school student right now is scary, arguably more so than ever before. The day you have to be released into the adult world will be here before you know it, and with that comes great economic and social uncertainty. College tuition rates are at an all-time high and affordable housing is growing scarcer by the year. The stress of scholarships, student debt, and economic instability swim around the minds of many who will be moving out within the next few years. Resources to aid us in overcoming these obstacles are hard to find, especially for first-generation college students. To help combat the current dilemma facing so many of us, Wake Technical Community College has created the Career & College Promise (CCP) program that gives free college experience to high schoolers in Wake County. 

CCP offers college classes to high school students that count toward a future college degree or employment credential with no tuition fees. Teens can begin their pathway as early as their freshman year and have the opportunity to earn as high as an associate’s degree through the college transfer pathway by the time they graduate from high school. CCP offers Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways that allow students to complete or work toward completing a credential for a specified career. Classes are offered online, in-person, asynchronous, or a hybrid of the two, making education accessible to all types of learners. 

Out of all of the CCP students I have talked to, they all say they wish they had been aware of the opportunity earlier. Pranavi Dantuluri, an Enloe junior in CCP, recommends starting early: “People think they can only do it in their 11th and 12th years and it’s a really good experience”. For every class you enroll in at Wake Tech, you are allowed to remove a class from your Enloe schedule. This appeals mostly to upperclassmen as they can drive themselves home earlier in the day or come to school later than their peers. “The coursework is a lot less overwhelming, even though it’s a college class,” says Kanah Boykin, a junior at Enloe who is dual enrolled in the Associate in Engineering program. While it is generally said that CCP classes are easier than AP/IB ones, they have the same weight on a student’s GPA. Above all other benefits, though, is the money the program can save families. CCP provides a student with up to two years of free college, much more than most scholarships can offer.

While Wake Tech does its best to make its opportunity as accessible as possible, taking college classes in high school requires a level of dedication not seen in a typical Enloe class. Kanah says that being enrolled at Wake Tech is “a lot of self-managed academics, so if you’re not good at managing your own time, you might be in a little bit of a struggle”. CCP students take classes with adults, and instructors treat them as such. Self-advocacy and independence are key to succeeding in the program. While the tuition itself is free, Wake Tech does not offer transportation to classes or textbooks. It is up to the student to organize the logistics of their college classes. 

The college offers classes during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The deadline for registration for the spring semester has passed, but now is a great time for prospective students to start deciding if they want to pursue dual enrollment in the summer or fall semester. To be eligible for CCP, a high school student must either have an unweighted GPA of 2.8 or a letter of recommendation from their principal or school counselor. To determine if you are eligible, you should first schedule a meeting with Ms. Miller, our dean of students, in student services. Before a student can apply, they must obtain an online copy of their high school transcript. This may be a little hard to do at first, but I found mine through Scriborder for free. After completing the application and being accepted, it is up to the student to activate their Wake Tech account and register for classes, and the school provides a page on its website to help new CCP students. 

Sharing knowledge is important, especially when that knowledge can save people money and time. Even if you read this and think that dual enrollment sounds too complicated, it never hurts to make an appointment with your counselor to discuss the possibilities available to make higher education more affordable.