two students walk into the Henderson County innovative high school

In 2017, through a partnership with Henderson County Public Schools, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and Blue Ridge Community College, the Innovative High School building was constructed on the Blue Ridge Community College campus.

The Innovative High Schools (IHS) include both the Career Academy and the Early College. The schools serve as a model of community college and public school system partnership for the state of North Carolina. Collectively, IHS houses nearly 450 students, providing them with access to Blue Ridge instructors and facilities as well as a wide variety of course study. The educational partnership provides an ideal, one-of-a-kind environment to a seamless transition from academic experiences to real life job and career opportunities. Both the Early College and the Career Academy have similar visions, but realize them through different approaches.

Early College

The Early College gives many first-generation college students the opportunity to complete high school and college coursework through a partnership between Henderson County Public Schools and Blue Ridge Community College. Students attend high school in the Innovative High School building on the Blue Ridge Community College campus where they also take Blue Ridge college classes. Students spend four to five years at the Early College, after which they will graduate with a high school diploma and up to two years of transferable college credit or an associate degree — all tuition free.

Applications for rising freshmen are currently available for the 2021-22 year. Visit the Henderson County Public Schools website for more information about the application process.

Henderson County Early College High School is a North Carolina High School of Excellence.

Career Academy

The Career Academy currently offers Art, Automotive, Business & Finance, Fire Fighting, Food Service and Mechatronics academies for high school students. In addition, the Career Academy also offers credit recovery classes for those who have fallen behind academically for whatever reason. Courses provide direct, hands-on experiences, more immersive than what is available in a traditional high school setting. The Career Academy’s mission is to prepare students for the day after graduation. Upon completion, students receive their high school diploma in preparation for job placement, enrollment in college, or military duty.



Abigail Robertson
Innovative High Schools Liaison
(828) 694-1802​

Henderson County Early College
Office: (828) 697-4561