SCC Student ACEs New Job

For Courtney Fennell, Sampson Community College’s Academy of Continuing Excellence (ACE) program was more than a school for learning. It was a path for success which began when she started four years ago.

“This program is a transitional program for students 18 and older,” says Anna Rouse, Lead Instructor of the Academy of Continuing Excellence at the college. “We work on basic math and reading skills and eventually help these students transition to the workforce just like Courtney has been able to do. She has improved so much socially and academically since she came to us in 2014 and I am so proud.”


Courtney poses for a quick photo with Rouse between shifts.

The Academy of Continuing Excellence (ACE) assists students, at least 18 years old, with intellectual disabilities in reading, writing, math and vocational skills. The goal for everyone is to create a smooth transition into post-secondary education or employment opportunities. No high school diploma or certificate is required.

Courtney, who now works at Wendy’s in Clinton, says she would not have been able to go out and get employment if not for the skills she learned at SCC. “I work here, and I help people out,” she says. “Ms. Rouse is a great teacher; a smart teacher and she’s really helped me out a lot. I work in the lobby mostly, making sure the tables and chairs are clean. I mop in the back and help make sure we have a safe and clean work space.”

Courtney says she plans to continue her education and working at her job. “They are very impressed with her skills,” says Rouse. “They love having her on board here and she is certainly a welcomed addition to our program at the college. I think she inspires others.”

The ACE program offers applications in reading, writing, math and vocational skills. There are no costs for the ACE Program. For more information about the ACE program contact Anna Rouse at or 910.900.4126.