Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Union County Early College
Union County Early College is located on the South Piedmont Community College campus on Old Charlotte Highway in Monroe.
It is a Union County Public School which draws students from the nine Union County high school districts. The school’s academic program allows students to meet all high school graduation requirements and earn up to two years of college credit. Students earning college credit typically attend UCEC for five years.
Now in its seventh year, the school has increased enrollment from 58 to 339 students, with 71% of the incoming freshmen being 1st-generation college students. Each grade level is capped at 80 students. Last year, UCEC applicants were so numerous that the school implemented a lottery system for the first time. The success of the program resulted in over 250 applications from 8th graders throughout the county in 2012.
UCEC’s campus lies within Building A and the adjacent grounds of SPCC. The school has grown from three classrooms to five classrooms inside the building and to ten mobile classrooms outside. UCEC’s faculty has grown from three core-subject teachers in its inaugural year to currently fourteen teachers and two online lab facilitators, along with dozens of college professors.
Students at UCEC are highly motivated achievers who set strong academic and career goals for themselves. For incoming freshmen, the rigorous academic climate prepares them for college classes which begin during their first year of the program. College classes offer students the opportunity to learn in a true college environment with SPCC students. This helps prepare UCEC students for education at the next level.
Union County Early College is a high performing school, earning the state designation of “Honor School of Excellence,” which is based on student performance on North Carolina’s ABC tests. Helping the school earn this distinction is an accomplished staff–one third of UCEC teachers are National Board Certified and 64% have ten or more years of teaching experience.
As part of the North Carolina New Schools, a network of innovative, redesigned high schools, UCEC teachers receive weekly reinforcement from an instructional coach who guides the teachers in the implementation of our common instructional framework. This framework is the basis for a student-centered approach which focuses on collaborative, project-based learning and student inquiry to grasp the essential skills of analytical and critical thinking needed for success in today’s global environment.
UCEC is in its seventh year and is proud to have earned the distinction as one of the top two schools in the Charlotte metro area according to Charlotte Magazine. This accomplishment is directly linked to the leadership of Principal Jane Wade, the commitment of its teachers, and most importantly, the hard work of UCEC students.
Written by: Sylvia Roldan
Posted: Sep 06, 2013 by Sylvia Roldan