The Highlands Career Institute (HCI) at South Florida State College (SFSC) will hold an Open House/Parent Information Night, Tuesday, April 24, 5-7 p.m., Building L, on the college’s Highlands Campus in Avon Park. (Take Entrance 5 from College Drive.) During the open house, parents will hear about HCI’s structure, meet the high school teachers, and learn about the various SFSC career and technical programs that students are eligible to attend.  

HCI makes it possible for high school students to earn a high school diploma while working toward an occupational certificate or earn college credit. In most cases, the students have earned an occupational certificate and are ready to enter the workforce by the time they graduate from high school. If they choose, students may continue on a career pathway in a post-secondary institution. Because HCI is considered dual enrollment, costs are waived for tuition and books. 

Students spend half a day taking high school classes and the second half of the day in college classes alongside adult college students. HCI students are held to the same academic and behavioral standards as other college students. Students benefit from small class sizes and focused attention and tutoring by instructors. 

To be eligible for HCI, students must be entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade at a Highlands County public school and have earned a 2.0 GPA.  

Currently, the college offers nine programs to HCI students. They are air conditioning, refrigeration and heating; applied cybersecurity; computer systems and information technology; commercial foods and culinary arts; automatic collision technology; automotive service technology; medical administrative specialist; and medical assistant. Three additional programs are under consideration and may be available by mid-summer. 

For more information about the Open House/Parent Information Night, call 784-7209. To apply to HCI at SFSC, students should meet with their high school guidance counselor.