Chatham Promise MOU updates allow some credit exemptions, required summer costs extended, and more

Posted 2/3/21

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has approved two items to the memorandum of understanding for Chatham Promise, allowing for some credit requirement exemptions in the case of …

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Chatham Promise MOU updates allow some credit exemptions, required summer costs extended, and more

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The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has approved two items to the memorandum of understanding for Chatham Promise, allowing for some credit requirement exemptions in the case of COVID-19-related issues and for required summer courses costs to be covered.

Chatham Promise is one part of “Central Carolina Promise,” a program offering free Central Carolina Community College tuition for qualifying high school graduates and supported by Chatham, Harnett and Lee County governments. The Chatham program provides two years of free tuition and required fees at CCCC to all eligible Chatham residents who graduate from a public high school, private school or home school 2019-22. Textbooks, supplemental materials and summer terms are not included, the Central Carolina Promise website says, though costs associated with required summer terms will now be covered thanks to the approved MOU changes.

CCCC’s Mark Hall, Chatham County provost, presented the proposed changes on Jan. 19 to the board, which clarified changes in approach and one which was for administration purposes. The board approved those changes in two separate motions.

“This is absolutely in concert, or keeping with, the intention of Chatham Promise,” Commissioner Karen Howard said of the changes after making a motion to accept them.

The credit requirement exceptions for 2021 and 2022 graduating students will be extended on a case-by-case basis, Hall said, for students whose academic records demonstrate they were on track to complete their credit and hours-earned requirements prior to any impediments caused by the pandemic.

The second approved change, in addition to allowing required summer courses costs to be covered, allowed for part-time students and the opportunity for eligible students to participate in the program at any time up until two years after their high school graduation. No extensions beyond the two years will be granted, Hall said.

In order to be eligible, applicants must be a resident of Chatham, Harnett or Lee County, graduate from homeschool or public/private school, complete the FAFSA and the Career and College Promise program, with at least four high school dual-enrollment courses or 12 credit hours. The priority deadline is July 23. You can learn more about the program and how to apply at cccc.edu/promise/.

During his presentation to the board, Hall said that last year Chatham Promise served 160 students, 140 of which completed their first year, with 60 of those students returning and others transferring to other colleges or receiving degrees.

Reporter Hannah McClellan can be reached at hannah@chathamnr.com.

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