Hickory, – Since 2007, Lenoir-Rhyne University High School Scholars Academy has prepared hundreds of high school students for college. By the time those students graduate high school, many achieve a year’s worth or more of credit hours due to the affordability and accessibility of the local program. The HSSA program, which initially was only offered to high school seniors, expanded to junior students in fall 2019 and increased its annual enrollment to 60 students.

To provide information about this program, LR will host a virtual information session at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, for high school juniors, high school seniors and their parents. Advance registration is required at lr.edu/HSSA.

Based on individual needs and aspirations, students can customize their schedules and have the potential to earn 18 or more college credits by the time they graduate high school in spring 2022 or 2023. Students selected for the program can enroll in English III or IV Honors, plus two or three college classes in the fall, and three or four additional undergraduate courses that range from biology to psychology to world history to chemistry in the spring.

Admission consideration for the program is based on high school GPA, courses taken during high school and high school or community involvement.

According to Kelli Barnette, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, high school juniors and seniors earn college credit to give them an advance start at LR or another institution after high school graduation.

“We strongly support dual enrollment because our program provides students access to college-level courses in which they learn from professors with terminal degrees,” Barnette said. “An additional advantage is that students are immersed in campus life, which creates amazing opportunities for high school students.”

Former HSSA participant Tanner Lloyd, a senior accounting and finance major at LR, concurred with Barnette’s statement. He attests that the program provides a pathway to collegiate success because he learned time management skills, advanced his critical thinking, and navigated discussions with professors while having the support and structure of family nearby.

“This program offered an opportunity to still have a productive senior year and possibly get ahead-looking toward a college education,” Lloyd said. “Without a doubt my experience was a huge success. I was able to learn and grow, both academically and personally. It offered a sample of the college environment and the workload, as well as a greater sense of responsibility and independence.”

Information, including applications for the 2021-22 school year due Feb. 1, 2021, can be found online at lr.edu/HSSA. First preference for admission will be given to students enrolled in the Catawba County, Hickory Public, or Newton-Conover school systems. If space is available, the university will also consider students from private schools, homeschools and other school systems.

For more information, contact Jessie Haynes, assistant director of undergraduate admission, at [email protected] or 828.328.7365.