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Horne earns High School Equivalency degree and transfer courses at PCC as she pursues chemical engineering degree

Published Monday, July 3, 2017
by Elizabeth Townsend

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When Jessica Horne was a teenager, she dropped out of high school, moved out on her own, and got a job to support herself. After several Jessica Horneyears of working in dead-end jobs, she returned to school and completed her GED® at Piedmont Community College (PCC). Soon after, Jessica decided to continue her education and enrolled in curriculum classes at the college.

“By the time she entered my chemistry class in the Fall of 2015 she was one of the older members of the class and several years removed from a formal school environment,” shared former PCC Chemistry Instructor Bruce Wilson. Jessica not only relearned how to be a student, but she did so while maintaining her full-time job as a veterinarian’s assistant at a local veterinarian’s office. “Despite these hurdles, she outperformed most of the traditional students in my CHM 151 class. She earned an A with the third-highest average in the class,” continued Wilson.

When the spring semester began, Jessica was enrolled in classes at Piedmont Community College and NC State University and was still working her full-time job at the vet’s office. “A bad cold at the beginning of the semester caused her to fall behind in class and I worried that she may not repeat her previous semester’s success. Not only did she catch up, but she again earned an A with the third-highest average in the class,” said Wilson.

An outstanding effort and final grade of A in both CHM 151 and CHM 152 won Jessica membership into the Piedmont Community College “Chemistry Hall of Fame”. Of the nine students in the “Hall”, she is one of only three who were not traditional students and the only one who worked a full-time job while a student.

Jessica Horne working on experiment in a PCC Chemistry course with lab partner.Jessica excelled in other classes at Piedmont Community College, as well. During the College’s May 2016 Honors Convocation, Jessica was awarded the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Momentum Award for exceptional performance in both math and science.

In the spring, Jessica was asked to speak with 7th graders at Roxboro Community School for Career Day. She gave an outstanding presentation, engaging students and answering numerous questions about her job as a veterinarian’s assistant.

Jessica is currently finishing her Associate of Science degree and has applied to the chemical engineering program at NC State University.

About PCC’s High School Equivalency Program:
PCC’s Adult Basic Skills (ABS) program provide free academic instruction for adults, ages 18 and order to be able to:
• Earn a high school equivalency through GED® or HiSET® testing
• Improve or learn basic reading, writing and math skills
• Learn English as a Second Language (ESL)
• Gain skills needed for college or job entry
• Make a difference in your child’s education
For additional information about ABS classes, contact Sylvia Gault at
(336) 322-2155 or Sylvia.Gault@piedmontcc.edu or visit us online at http://www.piedmontcc.edu/abs.

About PCC’s Transfer Programs:

Piedmont Community College offers three transfer degrees, the Associate in Arts (AA), the Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) and the Associate in Science (AS). All degrees provide students with a general education core, the foundation for a four-year baccalaureate degree. Courses are offered in the areas of English, literature, fine arts, foreign language, social and behavioral sciences, natural science, mathematics and physical education.

To offer more flexibility, PCC offers day, evening, and online courses. Students in the evening program will be able to take full advantage of the same curriculum and dedicated faculty that day students experience.

For additional information, contact Karen Sanders at (336) 322-2190 or Karen.Sanders@piedmontcc.edu or visit http://www.piedmontcc.edu/science to learn more.

Photo: Jessica Horne; Jessica Horne working on experiment in a PCC Chemistry course with lab partner.