Atlantic-Cape Launches Early College High School Initiative for Pleasantville Students

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On Monday, June 25th, officials with Atlantic Cape Community College signed on the dotted line to provide high school students in the Pleasantville School District the opportunity to take free college credits, paid for by the district.

“The Carver Foundation — who we’re partnering with — [is] handling all of the administrative part of it, working with the high schools and getting the applications," said Dr. Barbara Gaba, president of Atlantic-Cape. "But from what I understand, we already have 60 students that will be starting this program in the fall.”

“This may sound weird, but I’m most looking forward to the work," said Detty Exantus, sophomore at Pleasantville High School. "Right now I’m just doing high-school work, and it’s not like I was expecting it to be so I don’t know how college work is going to be.” 

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Through a partnership with the George Washington Carver Education Foundation, officials with the foundation are bringing the Early College High School Initiative to New Jersey.

Pleasantville is the first district in Atlantic County to have the program.

“We want to follow them and talk about their success stories," said Gaba. "And as this program becomes a success, we want to spread it to other school districts in Atlantic County and also Cape May County." 

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Atlantic-Cape officials have created transfer agreements with four-year colleges to allow students to transfer their credits to nearby institutions including Rutgers, Stockton, and others in the area.

“It makes me feel hopeful because ... not everybody gets this chance and I get this chance," said Exantus. "It’s like, 'Wow, I’m excited for this.'" 

The program provides high-school students of all levels at the Pleasantville School District a head start on their education.

“Now I can do what I want in life and I’m already going to have a head start," said Exantus. "So, college isn’t going to take a long time and I’m going to be able to get out in the world and try to change it for the better.”

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