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Twenty high school students graduated from the prestigious Scholars Academy at the University of South Carolina Upstate on May 23. This marks the second cohort of students to graduate from the program since its inception.

The 2013 graduates are: Kelly Paige Broadhead, Dixie Chastain, Daniel Chojnowski, Kellsie Edwards, Jorge Garcia, Sierra Hackney, Rachel Hardy, Kyle Matthew Hayden, Bravada Hill, Carder Leigh Jones, James Joshua McDonnell, Jurdan Mossburg, Aubrey Lynn O’Brien, Dimpi Ankit Patel, Dalton Randall, Phillip Retcho, Nathan G. Smth, Brooke Troxell, David Barry Wash, and Anthony Youmans.

“The Scholars Academy provides advanced learners with a quality education in a supportive learning environment,” said Melissa DeLoach, director of the Scholars Academy. “Through a partnership between Spartanburg County Schools and USC Upstate, the program allows students to take college courses and advanced high school classes over four years while still participating in classes and extracurricular activities at their own schools.”

Formed as a partnership between Spartanburg County Schools and USC Upstate, and funded in part by a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Secretary of Education under No Child Left Behind’s Voluntary School Choice Program (VSCP), the academy allows high school students to take college courses and advanced high school classes on USC Upstate’s campus during their high school years, at no cost. The students spend mornings on USC Upstate’s campus and afternoons at their high schools where they participate in other classes and extracurricular activities. Students begin the program in the 9th grade and continue through 12th grade.

To ensure that the academy students are acclimated to a college campus, all first year students are grouped together to provide for a healthy psychological transition. During their second year and beyond, the students are blended in classes with college students. These students will enter college typically with half the college credits needed to graduate.

For more information about the Scholars Academy, contact Melissa DeLoach, director, at (864) 503-5506 or mdeloach@uscupstate.edu.

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