Johnsonville High School dual enrollment students work on an English assignment in April.

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. -- Both students and parents have shown a huge interest in the additional dual-enrollment courses that will be offered next school year through The Continuum in Lake City, Florence County School District Five Superintendent Randy Smiley said.

The Continuum is a new educational initiative between the Darla Moore Foundation, Francis Marion University and Florence-Darlington Technical College. It will be a regional center for education and workforce development.

Students in the district who will take dual-credit courses will travel to the Continuum for that opportunity.

The district currently provides dual-enrollment opportunities to students through Francis Marion University and Florence-Darlington Technical College. Some classes are taught by faculty at the school and others are provided online.

“But one thing that’s going to be very different about The Continuum — we do have some face-to-face dual-credit courses now — but almost everything at The Continuum will be face to face,” Smiley said.

Through The Continuum, students in the district will be able to take courses such as HVAC, welding, mechatronics and industrial maintenance, among others. All of those courses are ones that the district has not been able to offer before, Smiley said.

“But there’s such a huge need for some of those areas,” Smiley said. “It’s a great thing.”

Johnsonville High School Principal Sam Tuten said the new opportunity at The Continuum will be dynamic and different for both students and faculty.

“What I’m excited about is the fact that once we get this opportunity for our students – and not only the courses that are traditional courses in four-year schools, but the HVAC, the welding and the mechatronics, and even the CNA – it gives a workforce, now, training and development, and hopefully industry will see this,” Tuten said. “And we’re not that far from a Boeing or a BMW or a Volkswagen.”

Abigail Floyd, a junior at Johnsonville High School, said it is kind of nerve-racking to think about taking courses at The Continuum next year.

“And it’s going to be a really new environment for me,” Floyd said. “It’s going to be so much different from high school.”

Floyd is taking her fourth online dual enrollment course. With online courses, she said there is a teacher but in a way, she is teaching the material to herself. At The Continuum, Floyd said she believes there will be a professor present to teach her the material.

“It’s kind of helping us get ready for our next steps in college,” Floyd said. “So it’s not like we’re all the way there yet, but it’s a foot in the door of being in overall college.”

Johnsonville High School junior Stephanie Squires said she is also planning to take courses at The Continuum next school year. She said she is most excited about the idea of not having to go to high school every day.

“I’m a little nervous, but I feel like having a teacher to help me with those classes is going to make it a lot easier than having to do them online,” Squires said.

Some of the classes to be offered by Francis Marion University next school year at The Continuum will include English 101 and 102, introduction to music, U.S. government, introductory psychology and introduction to political science.

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