Nelson Achiever’s Lab

In the Nelson Achiever’s Lab, students can take virtual (online) Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) courses.   While all courses offered at NCHS are open to interested and motivated students, students must possess strong language and writing skills and have adequate technical skills and personal characteristics for success in a virtual course.  AP and DE classes are offered to students during their junior and senior years. 

Enrollment in any of these classes requires dedication and perseverance and should not be enrolled in lightly.  Students must have good computer skills.  Most importantly, students must be independent learners with good study and time management skills.  Refer to page for a list of virtual courses that can be taken in the Nelson Achiever’s Lab.


Earning College Credit While in High School

Students who enroll in Dual Enrollment (DE) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are given the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school.  Students who enroll in Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement courses will not only receive high school credit, but also college credit.  The transferability of college credits depends on the grade earned in Dual Enrollment courses and the scores received on the Advanced Placement Exams.  The decision to accept Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement courses for college credit depends solely on the college’s transfer policy. 

Early College Program (associate’s degree program in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College)

The Early College Program is designed for high school juniors that have exhibited a dedication to academics.  Students selected for this program will pursue a transferable Associate of Science degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC).  Courses completed in this program will satisfy high school graduation requirements; however, students will still need to take courses at NCHS to satisfy the requirements of the Standard or Advanced Studies diploma.

A maximum of 15 students will be accepted into the program.  Students will be enrolled in either 15 or 16 community college credits per semester.  This program is not aligned with the Guaranteed Admissions Agreements between the Virginia community colleges and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s four-year colleges and universities.

To apply to the Early College Program, the student must:

·        Be a rising junior;

·        Apply to PVCC;

·        Pass the Virginia Placement Test or have acceptable scores on the PSAT, ACT or SAT assessments;

·        Have completed Algebra II by the end of the sophomore year;

·        Have a grade point average of 2.7 or higher.

Early College Scholar’s Program through the Virginia Department of Education

The Early College Scholars program allows eligible high school seniors to complete their high school diploma while earning at least 15 hours of transferable credits toward a college degree, resulting in a more productive senior year and reducing the expense of college tuition for families. Students earn these credits through the Dual Enrollment program with Piedmont Virginia Community College and by taking Advanced Placement courses at Nelson County High School or through Virtual Virginia.   

To qualify for the Early College Scholars Program, a student must submit an application and agree to:

·        Earn an Advanced Studies Diploma with a Governor’s Seal (refer to page 11);

·        Earn at least 15 transferable college credits while enrolled in high school.  College credits toward the completion of this agreement can be earned by completing Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses; and 

  • Apply and be accepted to a college or university

*Students who do not qualify for the Early College Scholars Program can take AP classes through Virtual Virginia; however, they will be responsible for the cost of the class. 

Online Learning Opportunities—Virtual Virginia & PVCC

PVCC and Virtual Virginia both provide access to high-quality AP, DE and elective courses with the flexibility of online learning.  A student must be able to work independently and able to manage their time wisely.  Students are responsible for ensuring that assignments are complete and submitted in a timely fashion.  Students must continuously communicate with their online instructors and mentor to be successful.  Teachers are available for telephone conversations with students throughout the school day and hold some evening office hours.  Students access their class during a scheduled class block at school and at home in the evenings and on weekends. 

·        For the above reasons, Virtual Virginia requires that students must be an Early College Scholar candidate which requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of the Early College Scholar Agreement.


·        Withdrawal from a virtual course must be done by the NCHS Virtual School Registrar (Mrs. Goode).  Students are expected to continue to work in their course, turn in assignments, etc. until notified by Mrs. Goode that the withdrawal process has been completed.  Simply withdrawing at the local school and/or notifying the online instructor is not considered a withdrawal and missing assignments will be calculated into the instructor assigned withdrawal grade. 


·        Students who fail or withdraw from a virtual course offered through Virtual Virginia will be assessed a fee of $75.00.  A WF will be placed on the student’s transcript when a withdrawal takes place.