Universal High School Application

Universal Application

All 8th graders need to fill out the Universal Application and choose the school that will best meet their future goals:  

Universal Application

High School Options

8th graders, McDowell County Schools has three high school options. You are encouraged to explore each option and choose the one that will best meet your future goals.  

For additional information, visit each school's website.
McDowell High School: mhs.mcdowell.k12.nc.us
McDowell Early College: mec.mcdowell.k21.nc.us
McDowell Academy for Innovation: mai.mcdowell.k12.nc.us


Parent Meetings

Face to Face Parent Meetings
January 30th, 6:00 p.m. @ East McDowell Middle School
January 31st, 6:00 p.m. @ West McDowell Middle School  

Open Houses

McDowell Early College -- 
McDowell Academy for Innovation -- 
McDowell High School -- 

Universal High School Application

Live: January 26, 2023
Due: February 10, 2023

MEC and MAI Acceptance

Decisions by:  

High School Options Slide Show


Spanish Version


What McDowell County's Secondary Schools Have in Common

  • Universal application
  • High school diploma
  • Transportation
  • All students can participate in Titan Athletics
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • 1:1 Chromebooks
  • College credit options
  • High school experience (clubs & social events)
  • Drivers Education
  • Yearbook
  • Student support programs
  • Internships/Apprenticeships
  • Student Council

McDowell Academy for Innovation

Do you want to be a nurse or engineer? To earn a 1-2 year certificate or degree that qualifies you for an in-demand STEM career?

  • Grades 9-13
  • High school and some college classes on MAI campus
  • Transportation to MTCC provided for remaining classes
  • STEM degrees, diplomas, & certificates through MTCC
    • Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration
    • Business Administration
    • Computer Integrated Machining
    • Electrical Systems Technology
    • Associate of Engineering (A.E.)
    • Health Information Technology
    • Industrial Systems Technology
    • Information Technology
    • Landscape Gardening
    • Associate of General Ed Nursing
    • Nurse Aide I & II
    • Photographic Technology
    • Families-Advisory
  • Innovation Class and Passion Projects each year
  • Mandatory student-led conferences& e-portfolios
  • NC School of Science & Math classes starting in 9th grade
  • Job shadowing & internships
  • College classes meet high school elective requirements

McDowell High School

Do you want to participate in Band, Chorus, Art, Theater or NJROTC? Take AP courses? Take CTE courses?

  • 9th Grade Academy
  • NC School of Science & Math Classes on MHS campus starting in 11th grade (via acceptance from NCSSM)
  • Titan Pride-Homeroom
  • CTE Programs & Clubs-Can earn credentials
    • Agriculture-FFA
    • Architecture & Construction-Skills USA
    • ARTS, A/V Technology & Communication-FCCLA
    • Business Administrator-FBLA
    • Health Science-HOSA
    • Hospitality & Tourism-DECA & FCCLA
    • Human Services-FCCLA
    • Information Technology-FBLA
    • Manufacturing-Skills USA
    • Marketing-DECA
    • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
    • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • Marching Band, Chorus, Art, Dance, Theater
  • Peer Group Connections
  • AP Courses
  • 30 Clubs
  • Internships and Apprenticeships

McDowell Early College

Do you want to complete an Associate of Arts or Science before transferring to a four-year college?

  • Grades 9-13
  • Located on MTCC Campus
  • College transfer degrees
    • Associate of Arts
    • Associate of Science
  • Comprehensive Articulation Agreement assures credits transfer to one of the 16 UNC institutions & most NC private colleges & universities.
  • College classes beginning in 9th grade
  • Families-Advisory
  • Seminar class each year
  • Mandatory class trips (9th-11th)
  • Schoolwide Summer Bridge Trip
  • Mandatory student led-conferences & e-portfolios
  • Community college calendar (early August-May)
  • Clubs on Fridays
  • Academic Support
  • 80% first-generation college attendees
  • Community service requirement
  • College classes meet high school elective requirements