New education center gives Hardin Co. high school students a taste of college

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) – Students in Hardin County are getting an early glimpse of what the real world is like. The Early College and Career Center, also known as EC3, in Hardin County opened its doors on Aug. 6. The school is already changing the way students learn.

“Parents tell me their kids are excited to come to school,” said Dan Robbins, principal of the Early College and Career Center.

The school educates students in several careers including health science, engineering, automotive technology, information technology and culinary arts.

David Ross is a senior, he’s says he has always had a passion for cooking and the school is teaching him new techniques.

“Anything you can wish for in a kitchen, you have it here, said Ross.

Juniors and seniors from Central Hardin, John Hardin and North Hardin High Schools have to fulfill prerequisites in order to attend the school. Cody Bybee is learning about engineering.

“They let you get your hands dirty,” said Bybee. “It’s not all textbook or computers.”

Robbins says the goal is to give students employable skills because a four year college isn’t for everyone.

“We have to be smart and educate our students about what is right for them,” said Robbins. “Whether it’s post secondary training in a factory setting, two years of school to get an Associate’s Degree or for some students it is that four year degree.”

Students attend their normal high school for part of the day and spend the rest of the day at the Early College and Career Center. Some of the students earn college credit while taking courses.

The Early College and Career Center works with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Western Kentucky University and Sullivan University to help students learn. The project cost a total of $18 million.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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