Camp, FCPS create EPICC Program

Published 6:11 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Franklin High School seniors will have the opportunity to have an on-campus college experience at Camp Community College’s Franklin Campus beginning fall 2022 through the Early Pathways Initiative for College Completion (EPICC) Program.

A CCC press release continued by noting that staff from both institutions met Thursday, May 12, to sign the Memorandum of Understanding as three Franklin High School juniors — Layla Battle, Jordan Johnson and Salvatore Colao — who plan to participate in EPICC this fall, looked on.

“We are excited about this opportunity to have high school seniors on our campus as college students,” said Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president, academic and student development at Camp. “EPICC strengthens the pathway to college transfer. EPICC students will earn the Uniform Certificate of General Studies (UCGS) and can transfer all of those credits to any Virginia public institution of higher education. Every EPICC student will have a plan for UCGS completion and beyond. We anticipate many students will continue with Camp to complete their associate degree before transferring to a four-year college or university.” 

EPICC is an extension of Camp’s dual enrollment program. Through EPICC, qualified high school students will satisfy, at minimum, the requirements of the UCGS concurrent with high school completion. The UCGS is a 31- to 32-credit-hour program in which all courses are transferable and satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any Virginia public institution of higher education. The UCGS is a component of Camp’s transfer degrees, and thus students completing the UCGS are well positioned to continue their studies at Camp and/or transfer to a public four-year college or university after high school. 

Camp and FCPS will pilot EPICC in the 2022-23 academic year with a group of up to 30 Franklin High School seniors. Students selected to participate must meet all requirements for participation in dual enrollment and eligibility for registration in transfer courses.  

The Franklin High School students will take classes on the Franklin Campus of Camp Community College, Monday- Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., in accordance with Camp’s class schedule and its academic calendar.  

FCPS will provide transportation for its students to the Franklin Campus and/or authorize students to transport themselves.  

Dr. Tamara Sterling, superintendent of Franklin City Public Schools, said she is excited for the opportunities FHS students will have.

“We are excited about the EPICC program at Camp Community College,” she said. “I can’t thank the administration at Camp enough for working collaboratively with Franklin City Public Schools to ensure that our students have multiple opportunities to succeed at the post-secondary level.”   

Amy Phillips, chair of the FCPS School Board, praised both FCPS and Camp for creating a program that will benefit the Franklin community.

“One thing Camp Community College and FCPS have always had in common is a desire to move the members of our community forward by providing enriching academic opportunities,” she said. “EPICC is going to be a premier opportunity for the amazing students of FCPS to achieve their academic goals. I am just as excited about this opportunity for students as I am about our growing relationship with Camp Community College. This truly is epic for our entire community!”

Battle, Johnson and Colao are currently participating in dual enrollment classes at Camp. 

Johnson said he likes that EPICC will enable him to be in a class with the teachers and classmates to help when needed. 

Colao said he will appreciate having teachers on-site. 

“I’ll have advice from the teachers (when needed),” he said.

He especially likes the idea of being able to graduate with a college degree before getting his high school diploma. 

“I don’t think I would have had that opportunity anywhere else,” Colao said.