New Kent

High School

Engaging, Empowering, Educating

Early College Academy

A Pathway to the Associate of Arts and Sciences Transfer Degree

The New Kent Early College Academy allows New Kent High School students to earn an Associates of Arts and Sciences Transfer degree from Rappahannock Community College while still enrolled in high school. The program is designed for high school juniors and seniors who desire a more rigorous academic program and who are highly motivated to complete the requirements for both the high school Advanced Studies Diploma and the A.A.& S. Transfer Degree. The Early College program includes a combination of Advanced Placement and Dual-Enrollment courses, with some course flexibility for students. Successful completion of the program requires necessary course grades in dual enrollment courses and scores on AP Exams of 3 or higher, summer classes at RCC to complete necessary courses, minimum scores on the VPT or other assessment to enroll in dual enrollment classes at NKHS and RCC, and thoughtful early course planning.

The Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in General Studies is a flexible program for those who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university. The Early College curriculum includes a distribution of general education courses which are usually required in the first two years of many baccalaureate programs.

Students successfully completing all course requirements will be awarded the Associate of Arts and Sciences in General Studies from RCC. Although earning an associate degree does not always guarantee junior status at a four-year college or university, Early College graduates may be prepared to enter as third-year students at many four-year colleges or universities. Early College students are strongly urged to acquaint themselves with the requirements of the college or university to which transfer is contemplated and to consult with an advisor at the four-year institution for further transfer assistance. Completion of the A.A.& S. degree with a minimum required GPA may also give students access to the Virginia Community College System’s Guaranteed Transfer Program to Virginia colleges and universities.

Because most of the required courses are taught at New Kent High School, for most required courses students and families would only have to pay for the cost of related Advanced Placement Exams and tuition of $15 per credit for dual enrollment courses (subject to change). The current cost of the program for families, subject to change, is approximately $1600 for two years (61 credits) of college work. There are also summer classes to take that are required for all RCC students. Depending upon their schedule and progress students may also need to take courses in the evening at RCC – New Kent Site or Glenns Campus to earn college credits from RCC to earn the A.A.S degree. An RCC advisor will be assigned the to the student in order to assist with course selection. 

For those students who feel that the full associates is not their program of choice, there is a certificate option that equals roughly half of the total associate's credits.  Mr. Williams, the RCC program advisor, can work with families to tailor that program to each student's needs.  There is not rubric to share, as it is highly individualized. 

Qualifications for the Program

  • Must be current sophomores (rising juniors).Interested rising Sophomores should also formalize their intent to apply by submitting an "Intent to Apply" form to School Counseling.Students will then plan for applying the following year and will work with his/her counselor to discuss course sequences. (submitting an “intent form” does not substitute for the application during 10th)
  • Must be able to attend the SDV 100 (College Success Skills) and ITE 119 (Information Literacy) at RCC during the summer prior to the Junior year.
  • Students pursuing the full associate's degree option must completed Algebra II AND Math Analysis (with a B+ or higher), Biology, Chemistry, and AP Human Geography by the end of their sophomore year. (in addition to other typical Sophomore classes) Those not in sequence for that will complete the certificate option and take Math Analysis junior year, with the DE sequence of math senior year. 
  • Should complete at least year three of a foreign language by the end of their sophomore year.
  • Recommend good academic standing as defined as an “A” average or better (3.5 cumulative unweighted GPA). Students with a “B” average (3.0 unweighted GPA) will be considered. Students must maintain a 3.0 at RCC and NKHS.
  • Be pursuing an Advanced Studies Diploma.
  • Must be on track to have earned 5 verified credits by the end of sophomore year (transfer students will be evaluated independently by school counselor).
  • Have excellent school attendance.
  • Complete the application (to include, the application form, RCC dual enrollment form, by the deadline (per RCC requirement).
  • Take the Virginia Placement Test at your high school (VPT) and receive qualifying scores, or submit qualifying SAT/ACT/PSAT scores for review to your high school counselor. Students who have a qualifying SAT/PSAT or ACT score will be notified, while those who do not will be given the VPT to determine college readiness.School Counseling administers the VPT.
  • Upon admission, pay tuition and fees to your high school bookkeeper by the deadline. You will be notified by Mrs. Spiak as to due dates for payment via Schoology message. Students are expected to check Schoology for messages on a weekly basis, as this is an important part of their responsibilities as a student.

For general questions about the program, contact Peggy Spiak at  

*The Intent to Apply form should be submitted by each interested 9th grader, but does not substitute for the actual application to be completed in the Fall of 10th. The most current application will be posted by late October of each year.

Click Here for 9th grade "Intent" form (submit in Dec.)
Click Here for 10th "Application" (submit in Dec.)



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