Isaac Bear Early College Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Monday, February 29, 2016

Isaac Bear Early College is marking its 10-year anniversary with a series of events culminating with a casual gala on March 18.

The day of celebration includes a coffee with former principals and liaisons. The schedule of events and details can be found here.

In the fall of 2006, IBEC opened as a partnership between UNCW, the North Carolina New Schools Project and New Hanover County Schools. As an early college high school, students participate in an accelerated high school education program which offers honors courses to prepare students for the rigor of college. Students can graduate with a high school diploma and up to 60 college credits.

"Isaac Bear Early College runs like a well-oiled machine,” says principal Mary Paul Beall. “The journey begins with students eager to take the plunge with a rigorous high school blended curriculum. Guided by stellar teachers in their respective fields, the students are able to condense high school through an all-honors program.”

Located in its own building on MacMillan Avenue, IBEC was the first Early College high school to be located on a four-year university campus. IBEC students take courses at UNCW during their junior and senior years.

With a current enrollment of 225, the school boasts a 100% graduation rate. In 2015, IBEC was recognized with the ACT College Readiness Transition Award. Eleven of its fifty-three 2015 graduates attended UNCW as full-time students. 

“This partnership has been a success and one that has been beneficial for both IBEC and the university,” said Cathy Barlow, UNCW interim vice provost and senior associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It’s a joy to witness the success of the students.”

Principal Beall also echoes the success of the partnership. “Our teachers and support staff work effortlessly to ensure that students are ready to cross the bridge to UNCW and be successful. We are thankful for the positive and nurturing partnership that UNCW provides.”

-- Caroline Cropp