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Southeastern Community College begins historic partnership to bring college classes to Thomas Academy campus

  • Thomas Academy and Southeastern Community College in Whiteville agreed on a historic partnership that would bring SCCNC classes to the charter school’s campus.
  • Thomas Academy is the only area charter school with such an agreement with SCCNC.
  • Electrical engineering classes began on September 13, 2023


LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (September 13, 2023)  – Thomas Academy Charter School announced a partnership with Southeastern Community College in Whiteville to bring college classes to their campus in Lake Waccamaw. The community college will drive its mobile electrical engineering trailer to the campus to assist in hands-on learning. Thomas Academy students can take one daily 90-minute class each semester with a SCCNC instructor, earn six college credits and eventually two journeyman’s credentials. The first class, Intro to Wiring, runs September 13 through December. “We’re very excited about the partnership,” said Cathy Gantz, principal at Thomas Academy. Thomas Academy is located on the campus of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.


Boys and Girls Homes President/CEO Marc Murphy said the partnership was a strategic move.

“Boys and Girls Homes is intentionally putting our students on the path to a trade,” he said. Speaking to juniors and seniors at Thomas Academy on Sept. 11, SCCNC Intro to Wiring instructor Josh Snyder emphasized the practical implications of his class. 
“Who has a brick in their room where you can lightning charge your phone? You won’t have to fight over that now. I can show you how to change out the outlets to install a brick, and then you can fast charge your phone anywhere,” Snyder added. “You’ll also learn skills that you can take with you in life, interview skills and how to move up through management.”


College officials emphasized that school advisors would monitor the students’ progress and achievement to make sure they get the most out of the program. The program is funded by the N.C. Career and College Promise Program through the N.C. Community College System.

“The Intro to Wiring class allows students to go into electrical engineering classes and gives a foundation for them with pathways to employment,” said Angela Ransom, Dean of Business, Careers and Technical Training at Southeastern Community College. “It allows students to qualify for free tuition and work in an industry toward a job and career in a registered apprenticeship. The whole model is earning while you’re learning.” 


Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Headquartered in Lake Waccamaw, NC since 1954, Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina has served more than 7,500 children as a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, equine therapy and a chapel. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. To learn more, please visit


Thomas Academy

Founded as the Flemington Academy in 2013, Thomas Academy Charter School, located in rural Columbus County, serves 70 to 100 students in grades 6 through 12 with academic, social, emotional and trauma care. Residents of Boys and Girls Homes attend school at Thomas Academy as do students from the wider Columbus County area. The school’s motto is “Helping students find Connection, Compassion, and Character.” To learn more, please visit


Southeastern Community College

Southeastern Community College is an open-door higher education institution that is a part of the North Carolina Community College System. The College exists to improve the lives of Columbus County citizens, businesses, and industry through affordable, accessible, student-centered education and training. To learn more, please visit

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Attached photos are credited to Amanda Irwin.

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