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Chesapeake Science Point Students Nearing AA Degree Requirements

Four years ago at Chesapeake Science Point, a cohort of 9th graders began taking college classes, with the intention of earning an associate’s degree from AACC in May of their senior year, and to graduate high school a couple weeks later. This week, the students pictured began work on the last semester of classes they need to complete their college degrees. “This was a great opportunity for our students to get a head start in college, and because our school paid their tuition for all four years, it was a superb economical choice for families as well,” said principal Dwight Jefferson. Students could take classes during their regular school day since AACC professors came to the school to teach the classes, and students would not miss out on the rest of their schedule.  “It was really convenient to have the classes taught on our campus so that we didn’t run into transportation issues.  It was a win-win situation for both the college and for us,” said assistant principal Darryl Gonzalez, who created and oversaw the program. “CSP has only 230 students, but we offer the most AACC classes onsite of any county school and we were able to fill over 100 seats in the fall,’ he added, as students do not have to be in the cohort to enroll in college classes. Samira Mirza, one of the students in the senior cohort said, “I love that I can take college classes now. It gives me a challenge along with my AP classes, and it means that I can start college as a junior instead of as a freshman. It is a great way to get exposure to college classes before actually going to college.” Each year, there is a group of students who begin work on the associate’s degree in 9th grade at CSP. The school serves grades 6-12 and is open to any student who lives in the county through a lottery system.

CSP College Students

From left to right: Nick Baldwin, Oumarr Bah, Cassidy Cannon, Samira Mirza, Kristen Valencia, Summer Hornick.  Missing: Auburn Schnitzer