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Associated Press

DURHAM, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue and state education officials say consolidating and refining several college credit programs for North Carolina’s high school students will make young people more prepared than ever to get a job and get trained and cost them less money.

Perdue unveiled Thursday her “College and Career Promise” initiative at Hillside High School in Durham. The program combines several statewide efforts to allow high school students to take community college courses for free, but adds some academic standards. Students will have to choose one of three tracks, keep a high grade point average and show they’re learning basic skills in high school.

Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson says the effort will bring meaningful educational opportunity to all students.

Perdue scheduled events later Thursday in Greensboro and Charlotte.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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