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Orangeburg Advanced College

Orangeburg Advanced College

The Orangeburg Advanced College (OAC) program is a new opportunity for highly-motivated Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) students designed to advance future academic and career goals in a rigorous, yet supportive program. In partnership with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (OCtech), OCSD is thrilled to offer a character-intensive, innovative curriculum for students in grades 9-12, who, upon successful completion, will earn both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree without cost to the student or family.

Students will be selected for this advanced program through a process that considers academic performance, behavior, parent/legal guardian engagement, recommendations, personal essays, interviews, and self-reported interest and activities. To be considered for an interview, students must be enrolled in and successfully complete Algebra I and  English I by their freshman year of high school.

OAC Program Overview

Eligible Students

The Orangeburg Advanced College (OAC) is open to any rising ninth grade Orangeburg County Public School District student or any rising ninth grader who plans to enroll in the District for the 2023-2024 school year. The student must meet pre-requisite coursework requirements, have the academic discipline to pursue post-secondary coursework while in high school, and have an interest in the program’s initial focus on Arts and Sciences.

Successful completion of Algebra I and English I is a pre-requisite for the OAC program.

As with many innovative educational pathways to a high school degree and beyond, the Orangeburg Advanced College is appropriate for a wide variety of young people, including those currently identified as Gifted and Talented as well as all other learners. Encountering the rigor, depth, and intensity of college work is beneficial to all students.

Students must complete a competitive application process for entrance into Orangeburg Advanced College for Arts and Sciences. A limited cohort of 75 students will be admitted into the program.

Student Supports

The OAC will offer an extension of the traditional high school program and emphasize academic preparation, support, and success in higher education. Based on research and practice about what helps underrepresented young people prepare for success in high school and postsecondary education, Orangeburg Advanced College will have three key features that promote success:

  • Small size. The OAC will enroll small cohorts of students per year in the Arts and Sciences Program as well as the Manufacturing Program, once established. The program’s size will promote deepened student/teacher relationships.
  • Aligned curricula and instruction for high school and college courses, with an emphasis on assessing students and aligning support based on the identified needs of individual students.
  • Power of place. The early college will draw on the college environment and experience to build students’ identity as college goers.

Soda City Live 1/31/23

Informational Meeting

Cohort 1 Field Experience

Orangeburg Advanced College is Different

What sets the Orangeburg Advanced College apart from dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and other pre-college programs is the reach and coherence of the blended academic program.

Early experience of college-coursework, yields multiple benefits:

  • For students, better preparation for college and higher weighting for courses (similar to International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses);
  • For institutions, lower remediation costs and higher retention; and
  • For high schools, improved understanding of the demands of college and an expanded set of curricular offerings.

However, only Orangeburg Advanced College:

  • Is open to currently enrolled eighth grade students and any current eighth grade students planning to enroll in Orangeburg County School District for the 2023-2024 school year;
  • Fully integrates students’ high school and college experiences, both intellectually and socially;
  • Enables students to earn up to two full years of college credit towards a degree while in high school;
  • Blends the curriculum as a coherent unit, with high school and college-level work blended into a single academic program that meets the requirements for both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree;
  • Grants college credits through the postsecondary partner institution (OCtech) and enables students to accumulate the credits toward a degree from OCtech or to transfer them to another college.
    • Students interested in further education at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), can rest assured that OAC’s curriculum aligns with the prerequisite requirements of MUSC through OCtech’s established MUSC Transfer program.

Just The Facts

The Orangeburg Advanced College has the following characteristics: 

  • Students will apply for admittance into the program during their eighth-grade year.
  • Small cohorts of students will be accepted into OAC’s Arts and Sciences track annually.
  • Accepted students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree or up to two years of transferable college credits while in high school.
  • Mastery and competence rewarded with the opportunity to earn two years of college credit without cost to the student or family.
  • Learning will take place in a small learning environment that demands rigorous, high-quality work, while nurturing students through extensive support.
  • Enrolled students will benefit from the academic and social supports characteristic of K-12 learning environments while pursuing highly rigorous college coursework. 
  • Technology will be used as a tool for designing and delivering engaging and imaginative curricula.
  • Access to rigorous academic standards for both high school work and the first two years of college-level studies will be afforded to all students.
  • The physical transition between high school and college will be eliminated and with it the need to apply for college and for financial aid during the last year of high school. After high school graduation, students may have either attained their Associate’s Degree and enter the workforce, continue to pursue remaining credits towards their Associate’s Degree at OCtech, or participate in the transfer program to other institutions of higher education.

Application Window

The application for enrollment in the Orangeburg Advanced College is available on the District’s website, www.ocsdsc.org. To request a paper application, please email stephanie.alford@ocsdsc.org. The application window has now closed.

No Cost to Students or Families

Orangeburg Advanced College will be available without cost to accepted students. OAC high school courses, as well as college-level courses taken on the campuses of OCtech, will be offered at no-cost to Orangeburg County School District students and will be absorbed by the school district and OCtech. Tuition assistance programs, including lottery funding, scholarships and other resources may be utilized by the partnering organizations, as available.