PAMLICO COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–High school students in Pamlico County can earn college credit for free before they even graduate with a diploma.

It’s part of the N.C. Career and College Promise program offered through a partnership with Pamlico Community College.

Students can take classes ranging from psychology to criminology and earn up to 30 credits on average, which is about halfway to earning an Associate’s degree.

“They are getting prepared while they are in high school and are eligible to go in and be more immersed either in the full-time community college system or our university system,” PCC’s Career & College Promise program director, Derek Godwin, said.

Juniors and seniors from Pamlico County High School, Arapahoe Charter School, Pamlico Christian Academy and other local home schools can apply for the program.

“We have the capability of being more hands-on because we are a small community college,” Godwin said. “We offer a range of classes from psychology to criminology, from business to environmental science.”

There are two college pathways. The first is the College Transfer Pathway, which requires at least 30 semester hours of transfer courses. The second is the Career and Technical Education Pathway, which leads to a certificate or diploma aligned with a high school career cluster.

There are 89 students enrolled in the program this year.

PCC’s program has the highest transfer rate, 84%, of students from community college to a four-year university in the state. It has the second highest in the nation.