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CCSD Scholars Academy ready for first year


A group of 30 ninth-grade students entered the 2021-2022 school year as pioneers. They are part of the first cohort for the Scholars Academy, a partnership between Charleston County School District (CCSD) and the College of Charleston. The advanced studies program provides rigorous, accelerated instruction and courses for students living in Constituent Districts 10 (West Ashley) and District 20 (downtown Charleston). 

To kick off the partnership, earlier this month, students and their families met at 75 Calhoun with district leaders, including CCSD Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait. They also spoke with the College of Charleston’s (CofC) Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, Fran Welch, and Dr. Courtney Howard, Associate Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. The group also participated in a walking tour of the CofC campus.

District and school leaders, along with representatives from CofC, have been planning for the launch of the Scholars Academy for nearly two years.

“We are so excited about the beginning of another high-quality educational opportunity for our students,” Dr. Postlewait said. “I cannot thank principals Ryan Cumback and Cheryl Swinton enough for their commitment to getting this program off the ground. We also appreciate the support they received, and will continue to receive, from our valued higher education partners.”

Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment courses offered through the Scholars Academy will allow enrollees to explore fields of study under the guidance of both CCSD and CofC teachers and counselors. Students could accumulate up to two years of college credits with successful completion of AP exams and dual enrollment courses with the potential of learning on CofC’s campus during their final two years.

“Principal Swinton and I are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to provide this opportunity to our students,” added Cumback. “This new partnership will add to the numerous college level courses already available for students, courses that prepare them for whatever they wish to do after high school.’

“We are thrilled to partner with the College of Charleston to offer the Scholars Academy to our students in District 20,” said Swinton. “It expands our opportunity to support student growth and high academic achievement, ensuring college and career readiness.” 

Criteria to participate in the program includes course grades, assessment data, and teacher recommendations. The next cohort (eighth graders living in District 10 and 20 during the 2021-2022 school year) will be able to apply during the 2022 School Choice process this coming January. 

For more information, contact the Division of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.