TCEC was the result of a tireless effort from a dedicated group of visionaries from throughout the community to offer a high school of choice within the Cherokee and Clay County Public Schools. With start-up support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, TCEC opened its doors in 2006. Located on the campus of its postsecondary partner, Tri-County Community College, the school is one of over 40 North Carolina early colleges created to carry out then Governor Easley's Learn and Earn Initiative. Affiliated with North Carolina New Schools Project and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, TCEC was ranked a school of distinction in state ABC measures and met federal AYP goals in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
More recently, our school has shown consistently positive results in a variety of measures including End-of-Grade test scores, college staying rates, and much more. In 2016, we earned the distinction as a School of Innovation and Excellence within the NC New Schools network. We continue to push the envelope of innovation in public education consistently and our alumni are forging successful futures around the country.
  • We are a school of choice.
  • TCEC is on the Tri-County Community College Campus.
  • All students will have an opportunity to complete an associates / 2-year college degree.
  • We have a non-traditional schedule, with small class sizes offering personalized learning.
  • All students are expected to achieve mastery or better in all courses.
  • Students must meet and maintain minimum academic requirements to enroll and remain in good academic standing with TCCC.
  • Full tutoring support is built-into the program.
  • Students enter formal college classrooms on TCCC at the age of 14
  • Unlike "Learn & Earn" at a traditional high school, our students experience face-to-face college instruction.
  • We have several intramural sports and club options available through TCCC.
  • See a presentation about our differences in approach.