Governor’s School sets Horry meeting on Accelerate program

vgrooms@thesunnews.comJanuary 4, 2013 

The S.C. Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics has set dates for parent meetings about Accelerate, a virtual program designed to help high school students to jumpstart their engineering degrees. The meeting for Horry County Schools is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology in Myrtle Beach, which will host the district’s virtual courses for the initial year of the program, according to the school’s website.

Horry County Schools is one of eight partner school districts that will launch the program in the fall. Accelerate will allow high-achieving students to complete their first year of college engineering courses during 10th through 12th grades while remaining in their home districts.

The curriculum includes virtual instruction through the school year, as well as hands-on, team-based projects during weekends and summers. A total of 50 students statewide will participate in the inaugural pilot, and the number of schools and students participating will increase annually.

On Thursday, the Governor’s School announced the other participating school districts, which are Beaufort County School District, Dorchester School District Two, Greenville County School District, Lexington School District One, Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five, Pickens County School District and Richland County School District One.

Students who want to apply to Accelerate must be currently enrolled in ninth grade; be projecting completion of Algebra II Honors by the end of the ninth grade; have indicated an interest in engineering on career assessments; have scored "exemplary" on most recent standardized measures of mathematics and science; and have a “B” average or higher in current courses. Courses will be taught by Governor’s School faculty, with oversight by the state’s four engineering colleges, Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, The Citadel and S.C. State University.

Partner districts were selected based on interest, geography and curriculum offered. Partner school districts must provide Algebra II and a lab science to ninth-graders. In addition, districts have agreed to provide technical and logistical support for Accelerate courses.

For more information on Accelerate, contact Ted Lee, chief engineer and program director, at lee@gssm.k12.sc.us about curriculum; Zaria O’Bryant, program administrator, at obryant@gssm.k12.sc.us about partnerships; or go to www.scgssm.org for general information.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.

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