Students take the courses required for the NC Future Ready Core Course of Study for a high school diploma. These are the same basic requirements that exist at all NC public high schools. However, all courses embed, to some degree, the theme of science, technology, engineering, and math throughout the curriculum. Some courses are not offered in our program because they are outside the scope of our theme. Students spend the first two years of study completing many credits required for a high school diploma. Students will continue to take additional high school courses every year that they are in the program. Students begin taking college courses in the third year of the program and by the fourth and fifth years, students are primarily taking college level courses. While many courses will be prescribed, students are somewhat able to customize their college study in the last two years of the program.
Project based learning is used as an instructional tool, bringing real world relevance to learning throughout the program.
Students examine science, technology, engineering, and math topics through the lens of the Grand Challenges for Engineering from the National Academy of Engineering. The 14 Grand Challenges represent the most critical problems to be solved in the 21st Century. These challenges cannot be solved by engineers alone. Instead, they will likely be solved by interdisciplinary teams including engineers, scientists, mathematicians, policy makers, and researchers in business, law, the social sciences and humanities. Exploring the Grand Challenges prepare Wake STEM Early College High School students to collaborate, think critically, and search for solutions to society’s most urgent problems.
Students have opportunities for tutoring as well as mandatory participation in seminars that help students know how to be successful in college studies. Along with staff advisors, students have access to school counselors who can aid with personal, academic, and social concerns.
Students in the STEM ECHS benefit from participation in internship experiences. These experiences help students understand what it’s like to work in their chosen fields and will help them in defining their interests and strengths.
Students earn college credit at NC State University upon successful completion of college courses. This college credit may be used at NC State University or transferred to another institution (transfer credit acceptance is determined by the receiving institution). While students are not automatically guaranteed admission to NC State University, it is our hope that STEM ECHS graduates will be highly competitive for admission. Students may choose to apply to any college or university upon graduation from the STEM ECHS program.