Officials, faculty and staff lined the sidewalk outside Smith Hall


Officials, faculty and staff lined the sidewalk outside Smith Hall on Aug. 7, to welcome the inaugural class of the STEM Early College at North Carolina A&T State University.

The school is specifically geared toward highly motivated and high-performing high school students who have demonstrated interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. This year, students will begin the first of two years of honors and advanced placement (AP) courses along with STEM curriculum incorporated courses such as robotics and scientific visualization.

As juniors and seniors, the students will be fully integrated into college courses and focus on one of three STEM pathways: biomedical sciences, renewable energy and engineering.

The program began with 50 students for this school year. For the next three years, the school will add an additional 50 students to the freshman class as the previous class advances to the next grade.

“Our cap is 200 students for the school. By the time we reach that number, 100 of our students will be fully immersed into college courses,” said Dr. Terry Worrell, central region superintendent for Guilford County Schools.

A&T alumnus Stacy Alston has been selected to be the school’s principal; and though he’s been working long hours to get everything ready, he is looking forward to tapping into the students’ potential.

This is a great opportunity,” Alston said. “A lot of us (A&T graduates) came to A&T to learn all we could about science, technology engineering and math and these students get an opportunity to tap into that early.”

The STEM Early College is the second high school to be housed on campus. A&T is also home to the Middle College at N.C. A&T, which posted a 100 percent graduation rate for the class of 2012.