Early College

The Early College program allows high school students who qualify to get a head start on their college careers by enrolling in college-level courses and career pathways at OCtech during the fall, spring, and summer terms. Early College students may enroll in university transfer and technical courses offered through the various programs of the College.

Under the admissions policies of the South Carolina State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, OCtech shall offer post-secondary education opportunities to secondary school students in its service area under the following provisions:

  1. The student must be considered a high school junior or senior by the secondary school he/she attends;
  2. The student must be granted permission by the principal or guidance counselor and the parent/legal guardian to attend classes at OCtech;
  3.  The student must meet all admission criteria for the course(s) he/she desires to take;
  4. The student will be considered a student of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College while enrolled in the course(s);
  5. The College will work closely with the student, his/her secondary school, and counselor to obtain the maximum benefit from this experience. The establishment of this opportunity is to minimize geographic, financial and scholastic barriers to post-secondary programs and services offered by OCtech.

Any exception to the criteria listed above must be approved by the College President.

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College's Early College allows ambitious high school students in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties the opportunity to earn college credits before they graduate. Early College Pathways help students select college courses relevant to their chosen fields of interest. Courses may count toward high school requirements (dual credit), or courses may be taken concurrently to enhance transfer opportunities and career interests (concurrent enrollment). Both Early College dual credit and concurrent enrollment credit may be used toward the two-year or four-year degree, as well as toward OCtech certificate programs. Early College Dual Enrollment requires the permission of the partner high school. Early College participation may also enable students to earn one or more South Carolina Diploma Seals of Distinction.

Students enrolled in either dual credit or concurrent enrollment courses should be both mature and self-motivated. Because OCtech is committed to all students' being college and career ready, the course selections are designed with that in mind. This Program of Study Guide provides information to assist students and their parents in selecting the most rigorous and appropriate coursework, as well as the most appropriate available Early College model for participation. Please read this program of study guide carefully and choose your method of participation wisely. Course descriptions are included for your convenience and indicate how the courses fit into both high school diploma and college certificate or degree completion. While this guide contains an abundance of information, please do not hesitate to contact either your high school counselor or an OCtech admissions counselor if you have any questions.

Traditional Early College Model

Degree Seeking Students: Students take dual credit courses toward an existing Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in order to complete a degree, diploma, or certificate based on their existing high school schedule, including CTE courses at OCtech and CTE courses at area career centers.

Technical Scholars Model: Welding

Technical Certificate Students: Students may participate in OCtech certificate programs which result in industry recognized certifications required for the workforce. 

Early College District Honors Academy Model

District Selected Competitive Cohort for Degree-Seeking Students: Beginning in Grade 9, selected students participate in a cohesive and intensive honors academy cohort designed for both high school diploma and associate degree completion. The honors academies below are structured to maximize university transfer in either the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree models.

OCtech Career Academies

OCtech and District Partnership for Selected Cohorts of Degree Seeking Associate of Science (AS) or Applied Science (AAS) students starting in Grade 9 (Readiness) and/or Grade 10: Selected Students will have the opportunity to complete the requirements for a SC High School Diploma and be able to complete up to the required credits needed for an AAS degree in one of the high-wage, high demand areas below. 

Students may also enter in Grades 11 and 12 if they have a current high school IGP in a related area. These students will have the opportunity to complete a substantial portion of the A.S. or A.A.S degree, as well as OCtech certificate programs and industry certifications. Admission is competitive.

Health Sciences Career Academy (2 Pathways)

Pathway 1: Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Specialized Transfer Associate of Science Degree (65-66 semester credit hours) designed to transfer to MUSC’s Healthcare Studies program, including pre-requisites for specialized clinical degrees including Pharmacy, Medicine, Physical Therapy, etc.). Courses will also transfer to all other public and most private colleges and universities is the state.

Students should also plan to earn at least one of the following certificates that will assist in the acquisition of necessary clinical hours needed for competitive application to MUSC specialized clinical programs. The certification will result in the 72 hours needed to transfer to MUSC.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate and NACES Certification
  • Phlebotomy Certificate and NCCT Certification (must be 18 to complete required labs)
  • Electrocardiography Certificate and NCCT Certification
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certificate and State and National Certifications (must be 18 to complete required labs and sit for certification exam)
  • Patient Care Technician

Pathway 2: Health Professions and Clinical Studies General Technology Degree (AAS – 64 semester credit hours) designed to assist students in competitive admissions for OCtech professional programs, such as Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, or Medical Assisting). Transfer course selections are also available to encourage attainment of a Bachelor of Science degree. Students will earn one or more of the following workforce certificates to prepare for a Competitive Admission program, such as Nursing:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate and NACES Certification
  • Phlebotomy Certificate and NCCT Certification (must be 18 to complete required labs)
  • Electrocardiography Certificate and NCCT Certification
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certificate and State and National Certifications (must be 18 to complete required labs and sit for certification exams)
  • Patient Care Technician

Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Career Academy (3 pathways)

Designed to assist students who desire to enter an Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, or Engineering Technology Pathway. Transfer course selections are also available to encourage attainment of a Bachelor of Science degree.

Pathway 1: AAS General Technology Degree in Electronics Instrumentation Technology with an Electronics Secondary Specialty (AAS – 62 semester credit hours) with an Introductory Engineering Technology Certificate

Pathway 2: AAS General Technology Degree in Engineering Design Technology (AAS – 61 semester credit hours) with a certificate in Computer Aided Design (CAD) 

Pathway 3: AAS General Technology Degree in Mechatronics Technology with an Industrial Maintenance Secondary Specialty (AAS – 62 semester credit hours) with certificates in Mechatronics: Basic Industrial Maintenance Certificate, Mechatronics I – Fundamentals; Mechatronics II – Automated Controls, and an NCCER Core Industry Certification