Frequently Asked Questions about CSSE

  • What is an Early College?

    Early College High Schools are small schools from which students can graduate with a high school diploma plus an associate degree. Students take honors level high school classes in conjunction with community college courses in order to earn the diploma and associates in 4-5 years. They offer personalized learning environments, a common and coherent focus, and they emphasize accelerated learning for students. North Carolina is a national leader in developing early colleges. Since 2005, the number of early college high schools in North Carolina has more than tripled from 13 to 70. Nationally, about 200 early college high schools are open in 24 states.

    Who can enroll at CSSE?

    All rising ninth grade students residing in Chatham County are eligible to apply to CSSE. Exceptions can be made for upperclassmen if an Early College student is transferring to CSSE from out of county. A maximum of 30 ninth grade students are admitted to the school each year through a competitive admissions process. 

    What kind of student attends CSSE?

    Students arrive planning to attend a four-year university, completing an associate degree in university transfer courses before entering the university as a college junior. One of the things all CSSE students have in common is personal motivation and an ability to thrive in a more independent setting. Otherwise, they reflect the broad diversity of Chatham County. 

    Does CSSE offer extracurricular activities?

    We currenly offering Science Olympiad, Robotics, and BETA Club. We have various clubs held every Thursday and Friday during PRIME Time. These can include:

    • walking
    • video games
    • cooking
    • dancing
    • board games/gaming
    • arts/crafts
    • guitar

    Does CSSE College offer sports?

    Because of the school’s unique structure and fast-paced academic program, CSSE does not offer varsity athletics. Students are encouraged to participate in community athletic events if they desire.

    What college courses satisfy high school credits?

    What does a typical student day look like?

    Freshmen and sophomores will attend classes at the Chatham Center for Innovation campus between 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Their studies may include classes, labs, academic advising, seminars, enrichment activities, faculty-student meetings, and career counseling. Students may eat an on-campus lunch provided by Child Nutrition Services in the cafetreia on the Chatham Center for Innovation campus. 

    Our upperclassmen will complete the remainder of their coursework on the campus of CCCC in Pittsboro NC.

    What if I want to attend a competitive university?

    You could be far better off than your peers. When you graduate from CSSE, you will have earned two years of college credit and an associate degree.

    What does that mean?

    University admissions officers will know you have the skill and dedication do college work, making your application even more attractive at competitive universities.

    Depending on what courses you complete at CSSE, you could enter the university as a junior and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in just two years — saving plenty of time and thousands of dollars.

    I'm not sure what I want to do when I graduate. Can I still apply?

    Absolutely. We don't expect all students to know what they want to do with their lives. Besides, plenty of college students change their minds, too!

    If you're motivated to get ahead in life, our staff will help you consider all of the options and choose the best courses for you.

    What if I decide late in high school to attend a four-year university?

    No matter what you study at CSSE, you will graduate with a high school diploma and plenty of college credit for transferring to a four-year university.

    CSSE staff works with all students one-on-one to help them make career decisions and take advantage of the many opportunities available.

    Where is CSSE located?

    Chatham School of Science and Engineering is located on the Chatham Center for Innovation campus. The facility is located at 501 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Siler City, NC 27344.

    Where is CCCC located?

    Central Carolina Community College classes for CSSE students are located on the Pittsboro Campus at 764 West Street, Pitttsboro, NC 27312

    What is the transportation plan for CSSE students?

    Chatham County Schools bus service is provided for all CSSE students.  CSSE students can catch the bus at their regular pickup stop and will be dropped off prior to 8:00AM each morning at both campuses.  CSSE offers a\ once a day pick-up from the CCCC campus after 4:00 PM.

    Is transportation provided to return to the base school for specialized courses?

    No, students will take all course work at the Chatham Center for Innovation location for the Early College or on the CCC campus.

    Is transportation provided to return to the base school for non-credit co-curricular opportunities, such as afterschool drama/musical participation or marching band?