Oceanside Collegiate Academy is coming to Mount Pleasant in 2016

Original article from: http://www.moultrienews.com/article/20151022/MN01/151029956/1014/MN

After much planning and growing parental support, plans were unveiled Thursday for the site plan and architectural renderings of Oceanside Collegiate Academy.

OCA will serve high school students in a safe, small setting who seek the opportunity and challenge of a rigorous curriculum, high academic standards, outstanding athletics while earning up to two years of college credit while in high school.

A deal has been closed on a tract of land in Carolina Park. The school will be built near the airport and adjacent to the Town of Mount Pleasant Recreation Complex.

The proximity of the school to the existing Wando High school shouldn’t be an issue, because students will not be accessing either facility via the same route. In addition these models for the two schools are entirely different and won’t be competing in any way.

School officials said the location was chosen out of necessity.

“There’s not very much land available in Mount Pleasant,” said Dr. Marvin Arnsdorff, Chairman of the Board, “Particularly 20 acres.”

As a dual-credit high school, OCA will offer its 600 students the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit in a small setting. The OCA model will allow students attend either a morning or an afternoon academic session focused on the core and college-level classes. The opposite session (a.m. or p.m.) will be focused on athletic training.

OCA will offer families and students the opportunity to:

• Save money. Entering college with one to two years already completed reduces the college freshman drop out rate and college expenses for the parents/students.

• Earn an advanced degree. Because students can begin their collegiate careers needing only an additional two years of coursework, they will have the opportunity to apply for advanced degrees under their four years of academic or athletic scholarship eligibility.

• Gain athletic scholarships. Athletically, students will have the opportunity to participate in competitive extra-curricular athletic programs coached by highly skilled and experienced coaches. OCA student athletes will be ranked above same skill athletes at recruiting time due to proof of performance in college classes.

• Participate in community service. The OCA educational program will offer students a service learning component that seeks to develop service to others. Each OCA student will be required to participate in 25 hours of community service before graduation.

Arnsdorff has a 13 year old child and long before she was even born, worried about the overcrowding at East Cooper Schools and how is child would fare.

“I had an opportunity to consult for a charter school management group several years ago and was impressed with their model. It wasn’t the same model we are currently using but I taken by the fact that there are some unique options when it comes to educating,” he said.

At Oceanside Collegiate Academy, students graduate from high school with a high school diploma and up to an associates degree (up to 60 hours of transferable college credits from classes taught by actual college professors). Most freshman and sophomore college GenEd classes will be taken in the junior and senior year at OCA. The OCA academic programming allows students to accelerate their learning, which improves collegiate success and reduces the college dropout rate.

In addition, he explained, student athletes struggle at the collegiate level due to the added emphasis, time and demands of their sport and coach expectations. The proven OCA academic programming eliminates much of the stress student athletes’ experience in college because students have already proven they can handle collegiate level classes. “Many athletes are overlooked in the scholarship process because coaches are afraid the student/athlete may not be able to handle the rigors of the college academic schedule,” Arnsdorff said.

“One of the innovative aspects of OCA is the typical day. Students attend either a morning session (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.) or an afternoon session (12:30 – 4:30 p.m.) for all core courses, plus two electives on-line. Student athletes practice on the off session and are home by 5:00 p.m. giving students and families more time together.”

A variety of sports programs will be offered at OCA including football baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, lacrosse and cross country for boys and competitive cheer, volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer, golf and tennis for girls. More will be offered in years to come.

The interest level has been very high, Arnsdorff said.

“Parents are very excited about the opportunity. We’ve had close to 200 applicants and haven’t announced everything yet. We’ve got a lot of interest from parents and kids but also a lot of teachers and coaches and administrators are very interested,” he said. “We’ve had very impressive number of resumes coming already and we haven’t really posted for resumes yet.”

The school will be open August 2016. The building model and layout is being replicated from other facilities and the developer is used to building this design, so the swift construction timeline is attainable, Arnsdorff said.

The school’s mascot is the Landshark and the school colors are silver, blue and black.

OCA is not bound by district lines so students may reside in any county and attend OCA. OCA is currently taking applications for students who will be in 9th through 12th grade for the 2016-17 school year. Interested parents should submit their student’s information at www.oceansidecollegiateacademy.org. There is no cost to enroll. Applications will close on Feb. 28, 2016. At that time, if applications outnumber the 600 student goal, a public lottery will be held.

The next parent forum will be Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dream Center in North Charleston at 5505 N Rhett Ave. North Charleston.

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