JCEC Handbook

Welcome to the Choice of a New College Generation!

JCEC serves students in grades 9-13. Key to its success are the small class size and personal attention provided to each student. Jackson County Early College is designed for students who wish to pursue a more rigorous course of study, while also working towards and achieving an associate’s degree, two years of college transfer credit, or certification in a trade/industry field of work in addition to their high school diploma.
Jackson County Early College, a part of the North Carolina Cooperative Innovative High Schools network, is the result of an innovative, collaborative partnership between Southwestern Community College and Jackson County Public Schools. Housed on the community college’s campus, JCEC’s course of study enables students to earn a high school diploma and a community college associate’s degree or two years of college credit in four or five years.

Arrival and Departure Times

Classes at Jackson County Early College begin at 8:00 am. Classes are dismissed at 3:10 pm. Students may begin arriving on campus at 7:30 am and should depart no later than 3:30 pm. JCEC has an agreement with Southwestern Community College that JCEC staff are responsible for all JCEC students; therefore, students may not choose to remain after hours at any of the SCC buildings, including Holt Library unless accompanied by a parent/guardian. No students should remain on campus after 3:30 pm unless involved in a pre-approved after school JCEC activity.


JCEC students who live within the Jackson County Public School district are eligible for bus transportation. Students who wish to ride the bus must complete the required paperwork in advance to be added to a route. When SCC college classes meet on days when JCPS is not in session, families must provide for the student’s transportation to and from college classes. This includes weather related delays, dismissals, and cancellations for Jackson County Public Schools when college classes are still meeting and any JCPS holidays in which college classes still meet. Students who are not able to make it to college classes due to hazardous road conditions in inclement weather should never risk safety to attend class, but instead should email their college instructor to explain the situation and work out an alternate plan.

Remote Learning

Due to requirements from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, remote learning days have been added to the 2020-2021 academic calendar. Students are required to complete remote learning assignments that will be given in advance on these days. Students who do not have reliable internet access at home will be expected to download assignments to their student device while in school with internet access in order to complete the assignments at home on remote learning days. On remote learning days when students have scheduled college classes, students are still expected to attend their college class in person unless they contact their instructor directly and work out an alternate plan. JCPS transportation will not be provided on remote learning days and it is the responsibility of each family to provide transportation to and from college classes on these days.
Due to the college schedule, JCEC is unable to alter the high school schedule on Mondays-Thursdays when classes are missed due to weather conditions. For this reason, teachers may provide remote learning opportunities on these days to ensure students have ample time to cover all of the learning objectives during the semester. With advance notice of incoming weather, teachers may provide these options in advance for students to download while at school.

Academic Support

The academic focus of JCEC is very important. Students are expected to perform to the best of their ability in all high school and college classes. As a result, JCEC works to provide support for struggling students. The JCEC Student Support Team will check both high school and college grades and meet with students when there are areas of concern to develop a plan of action to support student success. Parents have access to PowerSchool Parent Portal for high school grades and may work with their student to access Moodle to view college grades. Canvas will be utilized by each high school teacher at Jackson County Early College. Students should refer to Canvas to access the course syllabus, assignments, grades, etc. to stay informed and to keep up with due dates for assignments. Parents may work with their student to view Canvas courses through the student log in.

1st Year RISE Testing

Prior to beginning coursework through Southwestern Community College, all incoming freshmen are required to take the RISE placement test for Reading/Language Arts. Students will be placed into support classes based on test results. Unless a student scores high enough to test out of the support class, completion of all modules is required prior to the end of the student’s first year at JCEC. Every effort will be made by the student support team to encourage completion of the modules. Students who do not complete the modules will be ineligible to take more college courses through SCC. Because of the limited number of high school course offerings at JCEC, this would mean students would not be full time and would not be able to earn enough credits toward graduation; therefore, students who do not complete the modules will be referred for enrollment back at their home high school at the end of their freshmen year.


(This policy is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. There will be no lockers issued until we resume normal operations.)

Each JCEC student will receive a locker. Students are expected to provide their own combination lock and share the combination with their HOUSE teacher for retrieval if lost or forgotten. Students must keep book bags, books, lunch boxes and other personal belongings in their lockers when not in use. In the interest of safety and to avoid tripping hazards, book bags will not be allowed in classrooms or to be left unattended in the commons area or other campus locations. Students will complete a locker contract at the beginning of each school year.


(This policy has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. There will be no assigned Seminar until we resume normal operations. Struggling students who need extra support will be working with the Student Support Team.)

JCEC realizes the importance of good study habits and the need to increase the level of independence as students’ progress through each grade level at JCEC. Students are provided with more structured study time during their 1st year. All 1st year JCEC students are required to have 4 class periods per day on their schedules Monday-Thursday. Students with less than 4 class periods are assigned Seminar to provide a more structured study time as students adjust to the balance between college and high school course work. With a gradual release of responsibility and increase in independence, 2nd year students are required to maintain 3 class periods per day. 2nd year students with less than 3 class periods per day will also be assigned a Seminar study time. Students who maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for both high school and college courses have the option of choosing to complete Seminar time independently rather than reporting to an assigned space. All 3rd, 4th, and 5th year students who have Seminar listed on their schedules are expected to use this time to study independently and will only be assigned to a specific Seminar location if it is determined by the Student Support Team that the student needs academic support due to concerns over grades in either high school or college courses.

Textbook Support

JCEC will provide ancillary instructional materials for high school classes. The replacement of any lost, stolen, or damaged items will be the student’s responsibility. JCEC is currently able to provide college textbooks for a majority of the core courses offered within the Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science degree programs. At the beginning of each semester, students will be issued rental textbooks for these courses. As with high school materials, students are responsible for the cost of any lost, stolen or damaged textbooks. Materials must be returned to JCEC immediately after the semester in which they are used. In some cases, students may choose to take a course or courses that are not part of the core degree programs. If these courses are not offered often or are not needed by a significant portion of our population, we will ask the student and the family to pay for the textbook themselves. Students who have been approved to work toward a certificate, degree or diploma other than the AA or AS degree may be approved for textbook assistance in advance. Withdrawing from a course or failing a course and retaking the course may result in students being charged the cost of the textbook for the course if a new book or code is required.

JCEC Policy on Withdrawal from College Courses

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary for a student to withdraw from a college course. Students who find themselves in a situation in which they feel they need to withdraw from a college course, must make an appointment with the college liaison to discuss the situation and possible solutions.
During the course of a student’s education at Jackson County Early College, they will be allowed one withdrawal without penalty that will be coded as a “W” on the student’s high school transcript. Any other college course withdrawal will be considered on a case by case basis and a decision will be made by the JCEC Student Support Team.
Depending on the circumstances and the decision made by the committee, the withdrawal may be coded as WF-Withdrawal Failing or W-Withdrawal. Under no circumstance should a student withdraw from a course on his/her own without consulting with the college liaison. Should a student withdraw without consultation, the withdrawal will automatically be coded as a WF and the student may face disciplinary action.
If a student withdraws from a course, a fee may be charged equal to the amount JCEC paid for the e-book, code, or special purchase book that is not kept in stock in our bookroom for multi-student use. Students should consult with the Early College liaison to determine the amount of the fee if any before making the final decision to withdraw from any course.


(The following requirements may be temporarily altered as necessary due to health and safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure the health and safety of students. Students and parents will be given updates as they become available.)

*Note: As students complete high school requirements, the number of college classes in which a student is enrolled increases. It is important for students to be accountable for their attendance in SCC courses as well as fulfilling high school attendance requirements. Therefore, students will be required to report in and out while attending college classes.

During COVID-19, the sign in and out will occur remotely until we can resume normal procedures. Directions will be sent to each student with directions for completing this process.
*The following policy has been temporarily suspended during COVID-19 until we can resume normal operations. To help reduce the number of students on campus waiting between classes, we are currently allowing any student to leave between classes and return; however, a form signed by the parent must be on file in the office and students are not allowed to transport other students.

For example, students who have college classes during the morning hours and one high school class at the end of the day must sign in at JCEC before attending their first morning college class. Students enrolled only in college classes should sign at JCEC when arriving on campus and sign out at JCEC when leaving campus. Only 3rd, 4th, and 5th year students are allowed to sign out when their last class for the day is complete and they are leaving for the day. A parent/guardian must sign a form that is kept on file in the office, in order for students to utilize this privilege and a new form must be signed each semester. Students are NOT allowed to sign out to leave campus for lunch and then return. Students are not allowed to transport other students unless signed written permission from both the driving student’s parent and the passenger student’s parent are on file in the office and approved by the principal in advance. All 1st and 2nd year students must be present from 8:00 am-3:10 pm daily regardless of class times. If students are confused about their appropriate sign/in and sign/out times, they should consult with the JCEC principal.

Chronic Absenteeism

(This policy has been temporarily suspended for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19. Attendance will be taken even for remote classes, but we will not be utilizing Policy Code 4400 for this school year.)

Chronic Absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of the total instructional day/hours for any reason when calculated at any point in the school year, including tardiness and early check-out. (JCPS Attendance Code 4400) When a JCEC student has chronic absenteeism in any class during a semester, an intervention team meeting will be required with the student and parent/guardian to develop an action plan. Students must make up work missed and additional work will be required to make up time missed in class. Failure to follow action plan guidelines could result in an FF (failure due to excessive absence), a reduced grade, the grade earned, or a failing grade for the class for the semester. Behavioral Management Students enrolled at JCEC are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the Jackson County Public Schools Behavioral Management Plan. The plan can be found on the Jackson County Schools website. Additionally, JCEC students are expected to adhere to the behavior expectations of Southwestern Community College and can face discipline measures from both entities.

Check-In/Check-Out Procedures for Students

(This policy has been temporarily suspended for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19. Attendance will be taken even for remote classes, but we will not be utilizing Policy Code 4400 for this school year.)

All dismissal requests require a written request from the parent and will be verified by a call to the parent. It is also required that all parents complete a form listing any and all persons permitted to pick up their child from school. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to keep this information up to date with the school and notify the school of changes to this information in a timely manner. All students are required to sign in every day using the method in use emailed to each student regardless of whether or not they have a first period high school class. Students who are on campus (both inside JCEC complex and/or attending classes in other SCC buildings) and are more than 5 minutes late are considered to be cutting class. Those students who wish to eat breakfast need to arrive early enough to do so and be in their classrooms by 8:00 a.m.Before leaving campus, the student should return to the Administrative Assistant’s office to sign out. If the parent or guardian has been contacted by the Administration Office, the student will be allowed to sign out and leave. Parents of non-driving students must physically enter the JCEC building and sign the student out in the Administration Office. This includes any student who is taking classes outside of the JCEC building each day.
** Emergency and sudden illness check-outs will require that a parent or guardian (or previously approved adult) come into the Administration Office to sign the student out. Valid identification will be required. Any other procedure will require administrative approval.
**Whenever possible, please make doctor, dental, and other routine appointments after school hours.
**In order for anyone, other than the legal parent/guardian, to check a student out of school, the legal parent/guardian must include the individual’s name on the school information form. These forms are kept in the Administration Office and are verified upon check out.
**For additional information concerning local, state, and federal nutrition guidelines, please refer to the Jackson County Wellness policy.


(HOUSE will be a remote course during COVID-19 until we can resume normal operations.)

HOUSE is the JCEC version of homeroom incorporates elements of advisory and personal development. HOUSE is arranged by grade level. HOUSE will meet digitally throughout the week; however, the primary meeting date will be on Friday. HOUSE is a year-long local course at JCEC; students will receive 1 credit each year for successful completion. The student’s numeric grade earned will be recorded on the high school transcript and will impact GPA. Students are expected to participate in all aspects of NEIGBORHOOD/HOUSE including meetings, trips, team building, student-led conferences, etc. Attendance is recorded during each meeting, beginning with NEIGHBORHOOD promptly at 8:30 AM. All announcements with time sensitive information is shared through the HOUSE Canvas course.

JCEC Neighborhood

(Neighborhood Meetings will resume when JCEC is able to resume normal operations after COVID-19) The learning community at Jackson County Early College is referred to as the JCEC Neighborhood.

Weekly Neighborhood meetings are a prelude to HOUSE. This is a required community building time to share information/opportunities and learn about our monthly school focus. The guiding principles of our learning community are Education, Leadership, Service, and Community. Expectations for our community of learners are outlined in the JCEC Neighborhood Creed

JCEC Neighborhood Creed:

I will DEDICATE myself to my education, maintaining high standards and meeting rigorous expectations.

I will LEAD others and myself in a way that expresses my goals, strengths, and passions.

I will SERVE others in a way that benefits my JCEC Neighborhood, SCC, and my local community.

I will EMBRACE all opportunities to build community with my HOUSE and Neighborhood.

JCEC Friday Schedule (Friday Schedule is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 until we can resume normal operations. Currently, every Friday is a remote learning day for JCEC students until further notice.)

Southwestern Community College Classes do not meet on Fridays. In order to accommodate Neighborhood and HOUSE meetings, as well as provide meeting times for club involvement, tutoring, and other school-based community activities and events, students will follow an alternate schedule on Fridays.

The 2020-2021 Friday Schedule

Clubs and Social Functions

(Temporarily suspended during COVID-19 until we can resume normal operations.)

JCEC strives to develop the academic potential of its students to the fullest. We recognize that involvement in school activities enriches the overall student experience and is often a question asked on many college and scholarship applications. In order to be fully involved in the JCEC Neighborhood Learning Community, all students are expected to participate in club activities. Students will have an opportunity to sign up for the club/clubs of their choice at the beginning of each school year. Club choices for the 2020-2021 school year are listed in the chart in the JCEC Friday Schedule section of this handbook. In addition, there are opportunities available for students to start a new club based on student interest. Students who wish to start a club at JCEC will need to complete an approval form for the club which includes club objectives. Approval forms are kept in the office and are available upon request. Funding and fundraising for club-sponsored activities will be the responsibility of each club and will require approval from the JCEC principal. Additionally, several opportunities are offered throughout the year through Southwestern Community College, such as the NASA challenge and STEM conferences, cultural fairs, job fairs, and college level festivals. The SCC College Liaison notifies students as these opportunities become available.

Field Trips

(Temporarily suspended during COVID-19 until we can resume normal operations.)

An important component of the educational experience of JCEC is the enrichment provided by trips off campus. The students of JCEC will have off campus trips that are school wide and with their individual grade levels. Examples of off campus trips include college visits, Service Learning opportunities, and exposure to fine arts and entertainment.

National Honor Society

The students at JCEC have the opportunity to participate in the Chapter of the National Honor Society of Jackson County Early College. Participation is by invitation only and students become eligible after completion of the first year. Once invited, students are expected to meet certain requirements to maintain membership. These requirements include but are not limited to the following:

  • Minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0
  • Ten hours of quality community service per year of membership. This is in addition to any service learning requirements associated with HOUSE.
  • Attendance at NHS meetings is mandatory
  • Participation in NHS projects is also mandatory
  • Continued membership is also contingent upon displaying good character and self-discipline.
  • Failure to meet minimum requirements could result in dismissal

Specific details concerning NHS by-laws and more specific requirements will be discussed at the first meeting of the school year.

Service Learning

Service Learning is an integral part of Jackson County Early College. Students will complete service learning opportunities independently as assigned through HOUSE and through membership in the National Honor Society. Service learning may also take place on campus or in the community during school hours as scheduled by JCEC. When Service Learning trips are scheduled at the school level, they will take place on Fridays when Southwestern Community College classes are not in session.

CTE Internships

Seniors are eligible to participate in internship opportunities for CTE internship credit when opportunities are available and the internship fits within the student’s schedule. Students are required to complete the internship when the student’s last JCEC class is complete for the day. The student is expected to remain fully involved in all HOUSE activities which primarily occur every Friday. This includes trips, college and career planning, test prep, team building, and HOUSE meetings during the internship. CTE internships are monitored and completion of an internship application is required. CTE Internships are pass/fail with 1 elective credit awarded for successful completion. Students who are interested in an internship should speak with the principal for more information.

Dual Enrollment

Jackson County Early College students participate in dual enrollment between JCEC and Southwestern Community College. There is no option for dual enrollment between Jackson County Early College and another high school.