Isaac Bear Early College High School

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do Isaac Bear Early College students complete high school requirements AND take UNCW courses?

A: In their first two years (9th and 10th grade), Isaac Bear students complete all the core academic requirements for a high school diploma, but do not actually complete ALL high school requirements nor earn a diploma until they have been enrolled for all four years of high school and met all North Carolina high school graduation requirements. During their junior year, students begin taking UNCW courses based on their "readiness" to be successful in these courses, as agreed upon by representatives of both UNCW and Isaac Bear. Student readiness will determine how many UNCW courses are taken each semester by each Isaac Bear student. It is possible that an Isaac Bear student could earn up to 60 hours of college credit by the time he or she graduates from high school, but most will not earn that many credit hours.

Q: When IBEC students begin taking UNCW courses, will there be different expectations for them than for the traditional UNCW students in these courses?

A: No. IBEC students will be integrated into the UNCW classrooms, and the expectations placed on them will be the same as those for any students taking the course. However, IBEC students will receive additional supports such as tutoring from IBEC faculty.

Q: Whose academic calendar will IBEC students follow?

A: They will follow UNCW's calendar for any UNCW courses they are taking.

Q: What UNCW courses will IBEC students take?

A: Primarily, they will be taking lower-division (i.e. 100- and 200-level) University Studies courses.

Attending UNCW as an IBEC Graduate

Isaac Bear graduates who choose to continue their post-secondary studies at UNCW often have similar questions about transitioning from their early college experience to a more traditional university experience. The following questions and answers address a few of the most common concerns.

Q: Since I have been taking classes at UNCW for the past two years, as an IBEC student, do I really have to attend orientation as a freshman?

A: Yes. Students who fail to attend orientation miss out on a lot of information pertaining to university resources that are not always available to IBEC students. Also, students who fail to attend an orientation session will not be permitted to register for fall classes.

Q: If I decide to continue with my education at UNCW, will I be responsible for completing all University Studies requirements?

A: Yes. All university students are expected to completed the requirements in place for University Studies. Specifics tend to vary by student, based on previously completed, university course work. Because of this, early college graduates are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors regarding outstanding US requirements.

Q: Will I be assigned a new academic advisor?

A: Yes. While early college students are used to working with an advisor on campus, your ability to separate high school procedures from college procedures will become an important part of your transition from BearHawk to Seahawk. With the help of UNCW's University College, IBEC graduates will be assigned an academic advisor, who will remain with them until they declare a major.

Q: How soon can I declare a major?

A: IBEC graduates are not eligible to declare a major until they have completed one semester as a full-time student at UNCW. Additional requirements and directives for this process can be found here: Declaring a Major. Students are also encouraged to visit the Majors and Minors Sheets to learn more about specific requirements for individuals degree programs. And, of course, consult with your academic advisor.