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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .



The North Carolina New Schools Project is working. Proof is at Challenger Early College High School, on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College. Challenger is one of 42 institutions in the New Schools project that did not have a single dropout in the previous school year, 2011-12.More than a third of the 99 schools which NC New Schools helped support last year had no dropouts from any grade, and eight of every 10 of the schools had no dropouts from 9th grade, when students are most susceptible to quitting school. Most of the New Schools are like Challenger. They're hooked up with institutions of higher learning and the students are on the path for college degrees. Challenger, according to its website, allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree in approximately 5 years. Challenger students pay no college tuition, get a leg up in the job market, and earn either an associate degree or two years of college transfer credits. All credits earned at Challenger are recognized by the UNC system. The program is a partnership of CVCC, New Schools and the Catawba County, Hickory, Newton-Conover and Alexander County school systems. The results have been spectacular.