Qualified high school students in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties may begin as early as their junior year to receive college credit for high school classes through participation in the Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) program known as Early College Credit Opportunities (ECCO). This program provides classes to high school students in the four counties served by TCL whether attending a public, private, or home education school.
Frequently Asked Questions about ECCO Program:
How much does it cost to take an ECCO course?
High school students participating in ECCO are responsible for all current tuition, fees, textbooks, and course materials unless otherwise negotiated between the College and the local high school district. Fees resulting from schedule changes are also the responsibility of the student. ECCO students may qualify for financial support through the South Carolina Education Lottery Tuition Assistance Program (LTA) to offset a portion of the costs. To be eligible for LTA, students must:
- Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident (must present alien registration card at time of application).
- Be a South Carolina resident for a minimum of one year (12 consecutive months) or be a qualified active duty military member or dependent.
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Waiver form. This form indicates that the student is an ECCO participant and must be completed and approved prior to registration. Costs will be covered only if this form is processed prior to the start of classes.
- Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) and follow the Student Code of Conduct thereby never being involved in administrative suspension and academic or student misconduct.
Who is eligible to participate in TCL’s Early College Credit Opportunities?
Students enrolled in public, private, or approved home-schooled program that are a high school junior or senior, have appropriate placement scores, and maintain a 2.0 GPA for all high school coursework are eligible to participate. The COMPASS or ASSET placement test results will determine course eligibility. Students must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident (must present alien registration card at time of application). Students must be a South Carolina resident for a minimum of one year (12 consecutive months) or be a qualified active duty military member or dependent.
Are there any special approvals needed for high school students to participate in the ECCO program?
Yes, a student must have permission from his/her parents or guardians and approval from the high school principal, the guidance counselor or the school-to-career coordinator with their hand-written signatures on the ECCO forms.
What paperwork must be done to participate in ECCO?
Students must complete a TCL application form along with six (6) ECCO enrollment forms. The forms should then be returned to the ECCO Coordinator with signatures. A copy of the student’s high school transcript and South Carolina driver’s license (or South Carolina state ID card) is required when the student submits the application form.
What kinds of courses can be taken?
Any available course the High School approves may be taken on any of the TCL campuses; Beaufort, Hampton and New River.
- Arts and Sciences transfer classes in English, humanities, mathematics, language, physical sciences and social sciences.
- Career Development and Technology courses: Business (Computer Technology, Criminal Justice, Paralegal, or General Business); Pre-Allied Health; Industrial Technology (Building Construction, CAD, Civil Engineering, HVAC).
All courses are college level courses and use the same syllabus, texts, and materials as any section of the course. Successful completion means earning a grade of A, B, or C. All grades are posted on the student’s official record at the completion of the course.
How do students earn both high school and college credit for the same course?
Prior to beginning a course, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the high school regarding earning high school credit for college courses (only the high school has the authority to grant high school credit for college courses). The College awards college credits for successfully completed college courses.
Do all college courses transfer to four-year colleges or universities?
TCL participates in a statewide articulation agreement that lists 86 specific courses that are guaranteed to transfer to the state’s publicly supported colleges and universities. Career Development and Technology courses may be transferable to a related program of study. It is the decision of the receiving college or university to approve the transfer of credit.
Who will the teacher be?
All instructors teaching TCL courses are approved full time or adjunct instructors of the College. If you are taking a course on a high school campus, the instructor may be a teacher from your school. However, that instructor meets the same requirements as if he/she were teaching at one of the TCL campuses. The same syllabus, texts and materials are used regardless of location.
Does a certain grade have to be earned?
Yes, to be successful in a TCL course means that you must earn a grade of A, B, or C. If your grade is a D or F, you must repeat the course. This means that if your intention is to take a sequence of courses like ENG 101 and ENG 102, if you make a grade of C or higher in ENG 101, you can progress to ENG 102.
Note: Students who transfer to any college or university in South Carolina and who plan to take advantage of the LIFE Scholarship must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all college level coursework.
Why do high school students want to earn college credit before graduating from high school?
There are several reasons to take college courses while in high school.
- Reducing the cost of a college education – TCL’s tuition and fees are less than at the state’s four year colleges and universities. Earning 15 semester hours credit at TCL can save one semester’s tuition at the higher college/university tuition rates. Additionally, Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) is available only at the state’s two year colleges.
- Lightening your load – Taking some of the basic freshman and sophomore courses at TCL can lighten your academic load your first semester on campus at your four year college/university. This will leave time to adjust to college life while away from home. Having a lighter load may help you do better academically or graduate early.
- Learning to handle the level and amount of work associated with a college course – College courses often require only three hours of work in the classroom. However, there is often the expectation of spending three times that outside of class independently studying, reading, completing projects, and doing assignments.
- Explore potential career paths and college majors while still in high school. Learn employable, lifelong skills in a variety of areas.
- Earn a TCL Program Certificate while still in high school! You can graduate from high school, start your career and be employed in your field.
For more information, contact Early College Credit Opportunities (ECCO) at TCL:
Educational Technology/ECCO Coordinator Phone: 843-525-8356
Please complete the 7 ECCO forms and present them to your ECCO coordinator/counselor in the order presented here.
The Class Attendance Policy/Student with Documented Disabilities provide information for the student and do not need to be returned with the forms.