Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some frequently asked questions about Henderson County Early College. We hope this information will help you; however, if you have additional questions or would like to arrange a visit to our school, please feel free to contact Ms. Willingham, guidance counselor, at (828) 697-4561.

What types of students are enrolled at HCEC?

Our students are typical high school students who are dedicated to achieving their potential. Most of our students will be the first in their families to complete a four-year college education.  Many of our students are under-represented minorities at senior colleges. We offer the support students need to develop their potential and create new opportunities for themselves. We also recognize that there are many students who do well academically, but are searching for a different learning experience. If a student is looking for a mature environment that offers a variety of choices, he or she would do well to consider HCEC.

How do students enroll in HCEC?

Students interested in attending must complete an application and be accepted to HCEC. Students who attend HCEC must be willing to accept the responsibility for their academic growth in a rigorous environment and have the potential to succeed in college classes with the support of a caring faculty.

Where is HCEC located?

HCEC is located on the Blue Ridge Community College campus in Flat Rock, NC.  Our main office, administrative office, and classrooms are located in the Park Hill Building.

Which school calendar does HCEC follow?

Since students attend college classes, HCEC follows a calendar based on both the traditional HCPS calendar and the Blue Ridge Community College calendar. Parents and students need to be aware that we do not have the same breaks and holidays as students following the traditional or flex Henderson County Public Schools calendar.

Is HCEC an alternative school for students who have discipline problems at the traditional high school?

HCEC offers a college atmosphere with many of the responsibilities and freedoms that come with it. Therefore, students are expected to adopt a great deal of maturity as they interact responsibly in this adult environment. HCEC is a non-traditional school, but it is not an alternative school for students who have discipline problems at the traditional school.

Is transportation provided?

Bus transportation is provided through¬†Henderson County Public Schools. However, parents may drive their child and students may drive once they have their driver’s license.

Please note the following bus times-

Parents should drop student off at Base High Schools by:

East Henderson: 7:50 a.m.

Hendersonville High: 7:45 a.m.

North Henderson: 7:30 a.m.

West Henderson: 7:20 a.m.

Parents should pickup students from Base High Schools by:

East Henderson: 3:00 p.m.

Hendersonville High: 3:00 p.m.

North Henderson: 3:00 p.m.

West Henderson: 2:50 p.m.

All students should be picked up no later than 4:00 p.m.


Does HCEC serve meals?

HCPS Child Nutrition provides breakfast and lunch for our students. Free/Reduced meals are available for families who qualify. Please click for more information.

When do HCEC students begin taking college courses?   

During the second semester of their freshmen year, most students will take a Study Skills Course. This is a required course for the associate degree, but it does not receive high school credit or transfer to a senior institution.

What are the requirements to take a college course?  

In order to take a college course, students must meet the cut scores on the college placement test, Accuplacer, and demonstrate that they are college ready.

Do HCEC students take classes with regular college students?

After their freshmen year, HCEC students take all their classes with regular community college students. HCEC students must be college-ready and able to interact appropriately with students who may be non-traditional college students.

When students graduate from HCEC, do they receive a regular high school diploma?   

HCEC students who complete the 21st Century Graduation Requirements or the College/University Course of Study,  Exit Standards (Three EOCs), will graduate with a North Carolina High School Diploma.

How long does it take students to meet the requirements for both their high school diploma and associate’s degree?

Completing a college degree is not the same as completing¬† high school. Students’ schedules are more individualized to meet their individual academic needs. Therefore, students progress through the program at different speeds. Students who successfully complete classes receive both their high school diploma and associate’s degree in five years; few students will complete both academic requirements in less¬†than five years.

Do HCEC students have to pay tuition and purchase textbooks when they register for classes offered by Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC)?

HCEC¬†students do not have to pay tuition;¬†Henderson County Public Schools pays for the textbooks. However, students have to pay Blue Ridge Community College’s activity fee of $20.00 per year¬†and, if taking a college science course, there is a¬†lab fee.

Can students attend summer school at BRCC?

Students can attend Blue Ridge Community College summer school sessions only with the¬†approval of our college liaison. However, it is the student’s responsibility to provide their own transportation and meals. It is recommended that students use their summer for¬†other opportunities such as summer programs, volunteering, job shadowing, or gaining job experience.

What types of college courses do HCEC students take?

Students complete 65 credit hours of general education courses. These credit hours are transferable to any of the UNC system colleges/universities and many of the private colleges/universities in NC. Students take college English Composition, Humanities/Fine Arts, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and electives from the aforementioned academic areas. HCEC students do not take courses in traditional vocational courses like Welding, Cosmetology, Horticulture, Child Care or Office Technology.

Does HCEC have traditional afterschool sports and extracurricular activities?

HCEC is  not a traditional high school. Due to the college schedule it is not possible to have traditional sports. However, HCEC has clubs during the week and students are encouraged to become involved with the various clubs, community service projects and organizations that HCEC and BRCC offer, in addition to activities within their local communities.