Early College High Schools are small schools from which students can graduate with a high school diploma plus an associate degree. Students take honors level high school classes in conjunction with community college courses in order to earn the diploma and associates in 4-5 years. They offer personalized learning environments, a common and coherent focus, and they emphasize accelerated learning for students. North Carolina is a national leader in developing early colleges. Since 2005, the number of early college high schools in North Carolina has more than tripled from 13 to 70. Nationally, about 200 early college high schools are open in 24 states.
All rising ninth grade students residing in Lee County are eligible to apply to Lee Early College. Exceptions can be made for upperclassmen if an Early College student is transferring to LEC from out of county. A maximum of 80 ninth grade students are admitted to the school each year through a competitive admissions process. Please check out the Apply Now link above for information on dates and the application process.
There is no typical LEC student. We are proud to have a diverse student body full of students who pursue a wide variety of interests. Two characteristics that are common to all successful LEC students are personal motivation and an ability to thrive in a more independent setting. They exhibit the willingness and to complete the honors high school and dual credit college course work required to obtain a transferable Associates degree. LEC students share a desire to eventually graduate from a traditional university. Otherwise, they reflect the broad diversity of Lee County.
Yes! LEC offers Student Government Association, Beta Club, Competition Club, Yearbook, Sports Club and many other opportunities to get involved. Please visit the Clubs link for more information.
Because of the school’s unique structure and fast-paced academic program, Lee Early College does not offer varsity athletics. LEC does, however, offer a Sports Club.
Most students at Lee Early College will study between 8:00 AM - 2:45 PM. Depending on the student's grade and academic progress s/he will have a more or less structured schedule. Schedules may include classes, labs, AVID, academic lab, academic advising, seminars, faculty-student meetings, and career counseling. Students have full access to the college library, computer laboratories, academic assistance center and social activities. Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors typically have a 4 block plus Advisory day. Students typically do not begin taking college courses until their Sophomore year when they take may take a dual credit world language or math class.
Many students stay after school in order to participate in clubs and tutoring opportunities. On occasion LEC holds family related events such as parent-teacher-student meetings or family activity nights.
You could be far better off than your peers at the traditional high school. When you graduate from Lee Early College, you will have had the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit/an associate degree.
What does that mean? University admissions officers will know you have the skill and dedication to succeed in college level work, making your application even more attractive at competitive universities.
Depending on what courses you complete at Lee Early College, you could enter the university as a junior and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in just two years — saving plenty of time and thousands of dollars.
Students eat lunch at the Student Center. They are free to eat in the student center, on the patio or on the grounds nearby.
Students have multiple lunch options:
1) Students bring lunch from home. Some choose to supplement this with items from the vending machines in the Student Center.
2) Students may eat an on-campus lunch provided by Lee County Schools Child Nutrition Services. Click here for the Lee County Schools lunch menu. Free and reduced breakfast and lunch are available to those who qualify.
3) Students may also choose to purchase lunch from the Cougar Cafe located in the Student Center on CCCC’s campus.
Lee Early College is located on the Central Carolina Community College main campus. The facility is located at 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford NC 27330. Click here for more information: Campus Map.
Transportation to Lee Early College is provided by the Lee County School System. Bus route information.
Some families opt to provide their own transportation to/from LEC.
Students who are old enough to drive are permitted to drive to LEC. Parking is limited and a parking pass is required.
The school opened in the fall of 2006 with initial funding from the North Carolina New Schools Project and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s High School Innovation Project (HSIP) implementation grant. Lee Early College is a product of Governor Easley’s Learn and Earn Initiative, the New Schools Project, workforce development, and high school reform. It is also the product of growing relationships between the leadership of Central Carolina Community College, the Lee County School System and area industries and businesses. These leaders recognized the need for a personalized, rigorous, innovative high school with the goal of producing highly educated and trained graduates.