Please bring these supplies:

  • Scotch Tape
  • Stapler
  • Pens
  • #2 Pencils
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • 3 Ring Binders
  • Notebook Paper
  • Notebooks
  • Glue
  • Highlighters
  • Sticky Notes
  • Index Cards
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues.

Any donations of these supplies to the school will be appreciated.

If for any reason these items are unable to be obtained please contact the school for assistance.

Applications for Polk County Early College may be printed from our website or picked up from the school. The box containing the applications will be located beside the main door on the picnic table. Please return the completed applications by sliding them underneath the main door. Thank you.

Polk County Early College is located in Columbus, North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The Early College program began in the fall of 2007 and was a project of North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley. The college was the first virtual early college in the state, and it is partially funded by the Bill and MeLinda Gates Foundation. Polk County Early College now serves our students with face to face instruction in a classroom. 

The Polk County Early College is a Learn and Earn School in which students earn college credits while in high school. The Early College is a partner with Isothermal Community College and with the North Carolina Virtual Public School. We started in a small classroom at Polk County High with a few students but we have grown and have moved into our own building that includes the main area for students cubicles, classrooms, and a science lab.





√ Do you like to complete your assignments on the computer?

√ Are you self-motivated?

√ Are you an independent learner who likes to learn at your own pace?

√ Do you like to have flexibility in your use of time?

√ If there were no bells to begin and end class, would you be committed to learning online?

√ Do you have good communication and reading skills?

√ Do you want to take Latin, French, German, or Chinese?

√ Do you have a strong personal commitment to learning?

√ Do you want to accelerate your learning?

√ Do you want to earn college credits while you are in high school?

If you answered “yes” to the questions above then you are a good candidate for Polk County Early College

Please contact Mary Greene for an application at

828-894-2698 or email


What degrees do you offer?

Associate in Arts Degree

What is early college?

It’s a result of a joint program between our PCEC, Isothermal Community College, and North Carolina’s New Schools Project. Students will take college courses in order to work towards an associates degree.

How does PCEC differ?

Small Classes which means more personalized teaching. Two years of tuition-free college.

Which students succeed?

Academically aggressive individuals and interested lifelong learners.

Will students earn college credits?

Students are enrolled in college courses and take dual enrollment classes for both high school and college credits.

What is the application process?

  • Early College Application
  • Writing Sample
  • Three recommendations
  • Transcripts from grades 6, 7, and 8*
  • Attendance Profile*
  • Discipline Profile*
  • Standardized Test and EOG test scores, percentile, and level

*You can obtain this information from your child’s middle school/high school counselor.