The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 11, 2013

SouthWest Edgecombe High School believes that “College Works”


TARBORO — The staff members at SouthWest Edgecombe High School are determined that they will see an even greater number of students going to college after high school. They have committed to this goal by adopting the campaign of College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) that says “College Works.”

“This is one of the most important paradigm shifts our school has had in a long time, and rigor is a strong component,” said Marc Whichard, principal of SouthWest Edgecombe High School.  “All students will have the tools in their toolbox to be successful to go to a college or university of their choosing.”

Whichard explained that the staff members at SouthWest realize that all students will not go to college.  However, he reasoned, “at least they will be equipped to do so.”

“By tying in with CFNC’s campaign, we could create some excitement and reinforce our college-access activities under the ‘College Works’ umbrella,” said Terry Shackelford, testing coordinator and college access advisor at SouthWest. “We were looking for other ways to keep our momentum going and discovered just the message we needed with the ‘College Works’ campaign.”

Last spring, CFNC announced the launch of a statewide campaign to emphasize the value of a college education under the moniker: “College Works.”

“The CFNC ‘College Works’ campaign asks if you want to prepare for a better job, enjoy more financial security and even explore the world. And the answer to achieving these goals is: ‘College works,’” says Ben Kittner, a representative of CFNC. “Going to college for a two- or four-year degree is still the best way to increase your chances for steady employment throughout your career.”

Shackelford explained that the College Works initiative at SouthWest has three domains:  student leadership, faculty leadership, and community partnership.  

The initiative has already gained several partnerships. Edgecombe Community College, East Carolina University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, and CFNC have become partners with SouthWest Edgecombe High School to help the school achieve the vision of all students being college ready.

Whichard expressed that the community partners are excited about the College Works program and he echoes that excitement towards increased rigor and a college-going atmosphere.