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Some Cumberland Students Get Head Start On College

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — For many, college is a given, but for others, it is not as simple. A new program in Cumberland County is designed to give families a first -- a college graduate.

Cumberland County schools are starting a high school in the fall on the campus of Fayetteville State University. Seventy-five ninth-graders will get a jump on college life and credits.

Students will take high school and college classes. When they graduate, they will have a high school diploma and as many as two years of college completed.

Students must apply for the program with one requirement. They must be the first people in their families off to college. Some call it a golden opportunity.

"By me being the first to go to college, I feel that I didn't let my family down and that will make me feel good on the inside and make me feel stronger as a man," student Mason Davis said.

FSU Dean Joseph Johnson played a key role in the move.

"We will keep them contained, and then as they develop and as they grow in their second year, we begin to give them that opportunity to maybe take a college course," Johnson said.

Johnson said the concept is relatively new in North Carolina. There are only a few examples, including one at N.C. Central University. The name of the future school is "Cross Creek Middle College."


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