Students Graduate from Advance College Academy

Students Graduate from Advance College Academy
Posted on 05/17/2019
Attendees seated at graduation ceremony

Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) is proud to announce the first graduating class of the Advance College Academy (ACA). 39 students completed a rigorous program to graduate with an associate’s degree in social sciences through a partnership with Reynolds Community College while simultaneously completing the requirements for their high school diplomas. HCPS began offering the ACA program in the fall of 2016.

“We are incredibly proud of our students’ accomplishments, and we are thankful for the road they have paved for future students. Whether a student wishes to go directly into the workforce, serve in the military, or build on their degree at another higher education institution, the preparation they have received through the Advance College Academy will undoubtedly serve them well. We are also grateful for our partnership with Reynolds Community College and for all of the teachers, counselors, and administrators at both Reynolds and Hanover County Public Schools who have given tirelessly of themselves to make the ACA such a success,” said Dr. Michael Gill, superintendent.

Students apply to the ACA in the eighth grade and are selected through a lottery system. They take classes as a group for all four years and complete the required college coursework for the associate’s degree during their junior and senior years. The ACA program also requires students to attend a three-week session of college courses during the summer between their sophomore and junior years.

Advance College Academy graduates from Atlee and Lee-Davis High Schools Advance College Academy graduates from Hanover and Patrick Henry High Schools

Dr. Miles McCrimmon, director of college academies, said, “All of us at Reynolds Community College are proud of the work done by these 39 students in the first-ever graduating cohort of the Advance College Academy serving Hanover County. These students carry more than 2,000 transferable college credits with them to universities across the commonwealth and country. We know they will remember where they got their start, and they will continue to do both Reynolds and HCPS proud. Thanks must go out to the HCPS teachers, principals, school counselors, and Reynolds career coaches who helped these students along the way.”

Elizabeth Roerink, ACA career coach, added, “The ACA classes of 2019 have been trailblazers since the program began in Hanover County. They have made the program stronger and more dynamic for the cohorts behind them. They have developed strong skills that I am confident will prepare them for entry into the four-year colleges they are attending in the fall. It has been inspiring to watch them mature, persevere through challenges, work extremely hard, and develop self-advocacy. Their Reynolds graduation was a culmination of their hard work, perseverance, and grit. I couldn't be any prouder of them, and it has been an honor to work with them since they began the ACA program in September 2016. I look forward to hearing from them next year about their transitions to college and successes ahead.”

The students graduated at the Reynolds Community College commencement on Sunday, May 12 at the Stuart C. Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. 184 students are currently enrolled in the ACA.

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