Students exhibiting high achievement in academics, community service, and extracurricular activities at Thomas County Central High School can be recognized and receive a special designation upon graduation. Known as the MERIT program (Maximizing Education toRealize Intellectual Transformation), the purpose of MERIT is to challenge students to achieve their maximum academic potential while providing a supportive learning environment for advanced study and recognition for outstanding academic achievement. To be considered a high school MERIT student, a student must complete a prescribed number of designated classes. Students who qualify may enroll in a program to earn a full college associates degree by the time they graduate from high school. There is no formal application for the high school MERIT program as the designation will be determined by academic course selection. For students at TCCHS, MERIT is an incentive and recognition program designed to reward and celebrate academic excellence in theclassroom and scholarly competition as well as outstanding achievement on tests given throughout high school. MERIT students will participate in special field trips throughout the year and, upon successful completion of the MERIT program, high school students will receive a MERIT Program seal on their diploma and will wear a MERIT Program stole at graduation. High school students will earn and maintain MERIT status by completing the required program of study, participating in the required activities, maintaining the appropriate grade-point average, and completing the required community service hours. Students are also eligible to receive academic letter jackets or patches for letter jackets that they have earned in other areas. Students must have completed all community service requirements and meet 3 of the 6 following conditions:
- Made a 3 or better on an AP examination.
- Received a 1st place in an individual or team academic competition.
- Received a perfect score on a section of a standardized test such as EOC, ACT, or SAT.
- Participated on at least two academic teams or at two academic competitions.
- Made 1800 or higher on the three combined SAT sections.
- Made a 28 or higher on a section of the ACT.
To be considered a MERIT student at Thomas County Central High School:
- A minimum of 2 honors level, AP, and/or MOWR classes each year.
- Total of 3 AP or MOWR.
- Earn 4 high school foreign language credits (all credits in one language or 2 credits each in 2 different languages).
- Maintain an 80 academic average
- Complete and document community service hours, a minimum of 20 hours per year
- Participate in at least one extracurricular activity each year: a sport, band, academic competition, club, or student government
- Participate in at least one academic competition per year
Designated MERIT Program students will
- Receive a world-class education that will prepare them to compete for admission to our nation’s most selective colleges and universities
- Receive recognition for outstanding academic work
- Receive a MERIT Program stole to be worn at graduation
- Receive a MERIT Program seal on their high school diploma
- Participate in special field trips
- Earn the opportunity to purchase an academic letter jacket or receive an academic patch.
High school students wishing to be considered a “MERIT Student” should review the designation and schedule a meeting with a guidance counselor to discuss any course issues or scheduling questions.